Stephen Jackson on Killing of George Floyd: 'My Only Purpose Is Getting Justice'

Megan ArmstrongSenior Analyst IIJune 2, 2020

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 29: Former NBA player Stephen Jackson speaks at a protest  in response to the police killing of George Floyd  outside the Hennepin County Government Center on May 29, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Jackson, who was friends with George Floyd, spoke at a press conference before joining the protest. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)
Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Former NBA player Stephen Jackson has made his intentions clear regarding the killing of his friend George Floyd.

"Right now, I'm 10 toes down and my only purpose is getting justice and being with these people and trying to be a good leader," Jackson told The Undefeated's Marc Spears of his participation in peaceful protests following Floyd's killing in Minneapolis on May 25 (h/t ESPN's Dave McMenamin).

Floyd and Jackson were close friends who called each other "twin."

Floyd died in Minneapolis police custody after since-fired officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds. Chauvin was arrested and charged with third-degree murder as well as second-degree manslaughter May 29.

An independent autopsy released Monday said that Floyd died of "asphyxiation from sustained pressure."

Jackson mourned Floyd through several videos posted to his Instagram last week. The 42-year-old also used his voice during a rally at Minneapolis City Hall on Friday (NSFW language):

"How did I get this role?" Jackson added to Spears. "Like, I'm honest with you, I did not expect to have the role and to have so many people waiting to see what I have to say and what's the next move. Like, I didn't ask to be in this position, but I'm embracing it. I'm embracing it."

Jackson also revealed what he would tell police officers:

While Chauvin has been charged, three other officers present for Floyd's arrest have not been charged.

Protests seeking justice for Floyd and demanding the end of police brutality and racial injustice have erupted across the country and spread around the world.

Jackson was a journeyman in the NBA from 2000-14, playing for eight teams and winning a championship with the San Antonio Spurs in 2003. He announced his retirement in July 2015.

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