Warriors

Stephen Jackson powerfully calls for justice for George Floyd at rally

Warriors

Stephen Jackson traveled to Minneapolis on Friday, emotionally calling for justice in the wake of longtime friend George Floyd's death in police custody.

"I'm here because they're not gonna demean the character of George Floyd, my twin," Jackson, who played with the Warriors for parts of four seasons from 2007 through 2010, said Friday morning. "A lot of times, when police do things they know that's wrong, the first thing they try to do is cover it up and bring up your background to make it seem like the bulls--t that they did was worthy.

"When was murder ever worthy? But when it's a black man, it's approved. You can't tell me when that man had his knee on my brother's neck, taking his life away with his hand in his pocket, that that smirk on his face didn't say, 'I'm protected.' "

Jackson spoke as Hennepin County attorney Mike Freeman elsewhere announced that former police officer Derek Chauvin had been arrested and would be charged with manslaughter and third-degree murder following Floyd's death. Chauvin was shown on video, captured by nearby bystanders, putting his knee on Floyd's neck for around eight minutes while attempting to arrest him Monday night.

Floyd, who is black, pleaded "I can't breathe" as the three officers looked on, and he died soon after being transported to Hennepin County Medical Center, Minneapolis police initially said. Police also claimed Floyd "physically resisted" arrest, but that didn't appear to be the case in surveillance footage obtained from a nearby restaurant by CNN.

 

Chauvin, who is white, and three other police officers who were at the scene were fired Tuesday. NBC News obtained video Thursday night appearing to show multiple officers on the ground with Floyd.

Floyd's death sparked outrage in the Twin Cities and across the country, with countless citizens speaking out against police mistreatment of African Americans and people of color. Protestors have demonstrated each of the last three days in Minneapolis, with violence breaking out in some areas.

Jackson has mourned Floyd's death throughout, posting multiple videos on his Instagram page about his friend earlier this week.

"We gonna use our platform," Jackson said. "I'm gonna use everything I have to get a conviction, to get all these motherf--kers to jail. Excuse my French, I'm angry. But I'm a proud black man. I mean that, from the bottom of my soul.

"And I can say that and tell everybody here I still love you, but I'm at a point now -- I don't need your love. I honestly don't need it. And want me to tell you why I don't need it? Because the love I need has always been here. It's always been here. We just haven't came together yet. But I'm starting to feel it. I'm starting to feel it ... and I thank God for everybody here."

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Jackson and the assembled crowd later moved to hold a rally outside the Hennepin County government center. Before they changed locations, Jackson issued a message to white people and those in positions of privilege.

He said he's tired of words. Now, he wants action.

"To my white brothers, I love you," Jackson said. "Every race here, I love you. But it comes to a point now, where if you love me and you not standing on the same side of me, then your love don't mean s--t. I'm at the point now where I'm tired of being a bigger person. I'm tired of walking around and seeing white kids and feeling like me having a big heart and giving love to every race, and we not getting it in return."