Former NBA Player Stephen Jackson Calls for Death Penalty for Former Cop in George Floyd Killing

Dan Mennella
May 28, 2020 - 11:32 am

Retired NBA player Stephen Jackson has called for the death penalty for the former Minneapolis police officer who was fired over the death of George Floyd.

Appearing on CNN with host Poppy Harlow on Thursday morning, Jackson said he would be traveling to Minnesota for Floyd's memorial to clear his fallen friend's name, to ensure his family is fairly compensated, and to see justice is served.

"I know it's basically impossible, but I've seen impossible happen, and I think we need a death conviction for the main cop that had his hand casually in his pocket and killed my brother. He needs the death penalty -- to have the death penalty. The only way these cops will stop senselessly killing people, especially killing black men, is if they see one of their own getting fried in the chair, just like the whole world had to see my brother getting killed senselessly in the street. That's the only way."

"They don't have the death penalty there," said Harlow, "but your pain is palpable."

Floyd's grisly death while handcuffed in police custody has prompted nationwide protests and riots. Derek Chauvin, the former officer who was seen with his knee in the back of Floyd's neck while he lay face down on a street, was later fired along with three others.

Jackson was among the first in the sports world to call attention to Floyd's death, whom he called his "twin," in a series of emotional posts on social media. He later told the Daily Mail they used the term of endearment because of their similar appearances. They knew each other for over 20 years, Jackson said, growing up as star athletes in the Houston area.

Jackson's posts also included criticisms of police brutality.

On CNN, Jackson, now an NBA analyst and host of the "All the Smoke" podcast, cited his role in the infamous "Malice at the Palace" brawl in November 2004 as motivation for wanting to speak on behalf of Floyd. Jackson said the mistake cost him control of his career narrative, as well as accolades for his on-court performance.

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