Stephen Jackson on George Floyd's Death: 'I Haven't Been the Same'

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMay 28, 2020

San Antonio Spurs' Stephen Jackson acknowledges teammates during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Minnesota Timberwolves,Wednesday, March 21, 2012, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Eric Gay/Associated Press

Former NBA guard Stephen Jackson said Thursday he's struggling to cope with the death of George Floyd, a lifelong friend who died Monday after being physically restrained while in the custody of Minneapolis police.

Jackson appeared on NBC's Today show to discuss Floyd, whom he met while growing up in the Houston area, and said the situation has "destroyed" him:


“I haven’t been the same since I’ve seen it.” Watch @craigmelvin’s full interview with Stephen Jackson, a former NBA player and lifelong friend of George Floyd, who died while in Minneapolis police custody. https://t.co/4qsdbBMxeB

Jackson said he watched the video, which showed a police officer holding his knee against Floyd's neck on the ground Monday while Floyd repeated that he was unable to breathe, before realizing it was his friend. Floyd later died in hospital.

Omar Jimenez, Nicole Chavez and Jason Hanna of CNN reported Thursday the attorney for former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin confirmed his client in shown in the video. Chauvin and three other officersThomas Lane, Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kuengwere fired by the department Tuesday.

No criminal charges have been filed in the case, though Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey requested Chauvin be charged Wednesday:

Jacob Frey @Jacob_Frey

If most people, particularly people of color, had done what a police officer did late Monday, they’d already be behind bars. That’s why today I’m calling on Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman to charge the arresting officer in this case.

"Change is going to start with George Floyd," Jackson said on Today. "We're going to get change. This is not right."

He added: "I'm going to get justice for my friend."

Floyd's death has led to large-scale protests in Minneapolis each of the last two nights.