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Stephen Jackson, ‘twin’ of George Floyd, speaks at rally after police officer charged with murder
2:59 PM ET
  • ESPN News Services

Former NBA player Stephen Jackson spoke at a rally Friday afternoon in Minneapolis in remembrance of his friend George Floyd, a handcuffed black man who died in police custody after pleading that he could not breathe.

“I’m here because they’re not gonna demean the character of George Floyd, my twin,” Jackson told supporters. “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 their background — to make it seem like the bulls— that they did was worthy. When was murder ever worthy? But if it’s a black man, it’s approved.

“You can’t tell me, when that man has 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.’ You can’t tell me that he didn’t feel that it was his duty to murder my brother, and that he knew he was gonna get away with it. You can’t tell me that wasn’t the look on his face.”

Jackson, a 14-year NBA veteran who became friends with Floyd while growing up in Texas, spoke along with actor Jamie Foxx and others at the rally, which was held at the Minneapolis City Hall Rotunda and also attended by Timberwolves players Karl-Anthony Towns and Josh Okogie.

Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who was seen on video kneeling on the neck of Floyd, was arrested Friday and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said.

A person convicted of third-degree murder in Minnesota may be sentenced to imprisonment for a maximum of 25 years. Minnesota’s sentencing guidelines recommend 12½ years for a conviction on the murder count and four years on the manslaughter charge.

The criminal complaint released Friday said an autopsy revealed nothing to support strangulation. It said the medical examiner concluded that the combined effects of being restrained, potential intoxicants in Floyd’s system and his underlying health issues likely contributed to his death.

The Floyd family on Saturday issued a statement, through legal representation, saying they are seeking an independent medical examiner to conduct their own autopsy.

The criminal complaint said Chauvin had his knee on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes, 46 seconds — which includes nearly three minutes after Floyd stopped moving and talking. The complaint also said Chauvin allegedly disregarded the concerns of the other officer, who wanted to roll Floyd onto his side.

Chauvin and the other three officers at the scene have been fired.

The charges come after three days of protests, which had been escalating in violence and continued in Minneapolis — and across the country — Friday night.

“A lot of emotion, a lot of frustration, a lot of pain,” Okogie told ESPN’s Malika Andrews about Friday’s rally. ” But everybody that spoke today stood firm. They made a point that they’re going to stand their ground, and I’m with them.”

As protests continue in Minneapolis, outrage has been heard from across the United States following the death of the 46-year-old Floyd on Monday.

“We can’t love forever and the hate is coming out and I’m afraid,” Jackson said during the rally. “I’m honestly afraid because I know what comes from hate, from us, and I know why y’all are so scared. Because y’all are scared that we’re going to pull a you on you. I know why y’all are scared. Y’all have been doing us wrong for so long, y’all think karma’s going to hit you right back.

“But we’re going to do this s— right and it ain’t gonna stop. I don’t have no more tears honestly. I’ve cried enough. I’ve cried enough. I’m here for one reason. For my brother’s honor.”

Jackson has shared a number of social media posts defending Floyd since his death.

Minnesota im here because my brother was murdered. My twin. No justice No peace. Love to all who have love for all ✊🏿✊🏻✊🏾✊🏼✊🏽✊ https://t.co/caoXPHFBN6

— IG: _Stak5_ (@DaTrillStak5) May 29, 2020

He appeared at the rally in a black hoodie with the words: “RIP GEORGE FLOYD 3rd Ward, TX.”

“He was murdered in broad daylight for the world to see,” Jackson said. “… So where do we go from here? We’re going to the front line and anything you see, so be it, so be it, so be it. I want you to see it because this is real pain. How can you tell people to stop doing what they’re doing when all you have to do is have common sense? Common sense ain’t common.

“Common sense is not common. I walk right here and smack this man right behind his camera and common sense will say we all saw him slap him. Am I right? Everybody in here will say we saw him slap him. Everybody saw it. So everybody didn’t see that this man killed my brother? Common sense ain’t common. It’s a new day.”

ESPN’s Eric Woodyard and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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