While Minneapolis teems with protests over the videotaped death of George Floyd, former NBA star Stephen Jackson mourns the loss of his self-described “twin.”
Jackson and Floyd were lifelong friends, Jackson told "TODAY" in a Thursday interview. They called each other “twin," with Jackson saying they looked so similar that the first time they met, they kept asking each other, “'Who’s your daddy? Who’s your daddy?’”
Jackson was asleep when news of Floyd’s death first broke, he said. He woke up to a flood of messages about the disturbing bystander video that appears to show Floyd with a white police officer kneeling on his neck.
“Please, please, please, I can’t breathe,” Floyd begs the officer toward the start of the video.
His protests get weaker as time goes on, until he appears to stop moving around the four-minute mark. The officer continues kneeling on him for the next several minutes, until an ambulance arrives and police drag his limp body onto a stretcher.
Jackson said he was devastated when he realized the man in the video was Floyd.
“I jumped up, screamed, scared my daughter — you know, almost broke my hand punching stuff because I was so mad,” Jackson told "TODAY." "It destroyed me, and I haven’t been the same since.”
Jackson isn’t alone in his anger.
Minneapolis was wracked with violent protests Tuesday and Wednesday night. Police pushed back against crowds with teargas, rubber bullets, and flash-bang grenades, the Star-Tribune reported.
Multiple buildings went up in flames. At least five people were shot Wednesday night, one fatally: a man who was allegedly looting a local pawn shop, according to the Star-Tribune. Dozens of local businesses were reportedly either looted or burned that night.
The four police officers involved in Floyd’s death have since been fired, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey tweeted. Frey has also called on the county attorney, Mike Freeman, to prosecute the arresting officer.
Floyd's family told CBS News that they want the officers involved in Floyd's death to be arrested and charged with murder.
Jackson said that although Floyd would not want violence in the streets, he would want change and justice for what was done to him.
“This is wrong,” Jackson said. “I don’t stand for what’s wrong, I stand for what’s right — and I’m gonna get justice for my friend.”
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