Longtime NBA fixture Stephen Jackson — who recently revealed that he has known George Floyd for two decades — held an emotional press conference in Minneapolis on Friday while flanked by fellow basketball players and entertainers, angrily declaring that he would do all he could to ensure that his friend received justice.
Floyd, who bore a striking resemblance to the 42-year-old Jackson, died on Monday during an ill-fated arrest attempt that saw MPD officer Derek Chauvin kneel on his neck as he desperately pleaded for air. As seen in a video of the incident, Floyd eventually lost consciousness, but Chauvin continued to put his weight on his neck. He was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.
In the wake of the incident, violent protests have erupted in and around Minneapolis, as well as in other parts of the U.S. as a national outcry over police brutality and racial injustice has been reignited.
The Athletic‘s Jon Krawczynski shared footage of the press conference via Twitter, which was also attended by Minnesota Timberwolves players Karl-Anthony Towns and Josh Okogie, as well as actor Jamie Foxx and rappers Bun B and Trae The Truth. In an emotional statement, Jackson said he was there to prevent Floyd’s character from being demeaned.
Jamie Foxx here to join Stephen Jackson at a press conference for George Floyd pic.twitter.com/MR6sSLLwRd
— Jon Krawczynski (@JonKrawczynski) May 29, 2020
“They’re not going to demean the character of George Floyd — my twin. 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 bullsh*t that they did was worth it. When was murder ever worth it?”
He continued on, promising the assembled media that he would use his platform to ensure that those officers that were allegedly complicit in Floyd’s death would be punished for what they did.
“I’m going to use everything I have to get a conviction, to get all these motherf*ckers in jail,” Jackson added. “Excuse my French, I’m angry. I’m a proud black man.”
According to CBS Minnesota, Chauvin was arrested on Friday and Hennepin County prosecutor Mike Freeman later announced that he has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. If convicted, Chauvin faces up to 25 years in prison on the murder charge, as well as up to 10 years on the manslaughter charge.
The other officers, who were identified as Thomas Lane, J Alexander Kueng, and Tou Thao, have not been brought up on charges.
As shared by The Inquisitr, Jackson isn’t the only NBA star to speak out in the wake of Floyd’s death. Multi-time NBA champion and MVP LeBron James has commented on the situation via Instagram.