NBA

The Death of Stephen Jackson’s Friend George Floyd Isn’t the First Trauma in His Life

It’s an all-too-familiar scene that’s plagued the country. A white police officer held down a defenseless black man Monday while the black man frantically stated he couldn’t breathe.  The arresting police officer unnecessarily held a knee firmly to a handcuffed George Floyd’s neck while other police officers surrounded the scene to make sure no onlookers would interfere. Floyd, 46, died as a result of the incident. It’s also been an all-too-familiar scene for former NBA player Stephen Jackson, who has now seen another person close to him die as a result of a senseless act.

The death of George Floyd

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According to CNN, Minneapolis police responded to a forgery in progress Monday. Responding officers were told that the suspect appeared to be under the influence and seated in a parked car. When two officers located and then approached the man, he “physically resisted” when asked to step out of the car, according to police.

Officers then handcuffed the man, George Floyd, and video later showed a police offer kneeling on Floyd’s neck while Floyd was saying he was struggling to breathe. That same video showed another officer standing in front of a struggling Floyd as bystanders pleaded with the officers to get off of his neck. Floyd died later that night.

Four officers were fired. The family of George Floyd said the police did nothing when Floyd pleaded for help. “They were supposed to be there to serve and to protect and I didn’t see a single one of them lift a finger to do anything to help while he was begging for his life. Not one of them tried to do anything to help him,” Tera Brown, Floyd’s cousin, told CNN.

Stephen Jackson responds to his friend’s death

Stephen Jackson, who enjoyed a very healthy 14-year NBA career after a unique path took him to the league, was a friend of George Floyd. He was devastated to wake up to the death of the man he called “Twin.” In an Instagram video, Jackson said he will not let the unnecessary death of slide.

“This is what I gotta wake up to, huh?” said Jackson through tears in the Instagram post. “This is what I gotta wake up to. Floyd was my brother, man. We called each other “Twin,” bruh. Everybody know me and Floyd called each other “Twin.” My brother was only out there in Minnesota, he was changing his life, he went to Minnesota, he was driving trucks.

“I just sent him two, three boxes of clothes. My boy was doing what he was supposed to do, man, and y’all go kill my brother, man. I’m on my way to Minnesota, man. Whatever I can do, can’t let this ride, dog. Y’all not going to be mad until it hits you front door. Bull—t.”

George Floyd is another person close to Jackson who died tragically

When Stephen Jackson was 16 years old, he went through the loss of another person he was very close with. It was another senseless death. Jackson’s half-brother Donald Buckner Jr. was jumped after he visited his girlfriend. Her jealous ex-boyfriend and two others showed up, beating Buckner over the head with bottles and a lead pipe, according to Spurs.com.

“I still think about it to this day,” Jackson said when he was a member of the San Antonio Spurs in 2012. “I wish I could have been there for him.” Those who know Jackson said his half-brother’s death clearly had an impact on the NBA player.

“From that point on, he has been a giving person,” said Jackson’s mom Judy in 2012. “He would give you the clothes off his back. I’ve watched him on numerous occasions give to people. There was a homeless man, standing on the side of a street in Atlanta. Stephen stopped and gave the man money. A lot of things he does you don’t even know about. His kindness and generosity are something else. He’s more generous than I am. He loves to give and he doesn’t even think about it.”