Last week, former police officer Derek Chauvin was sentenced to 22.5 years for the May 2020 killing of George Floyd. While his sentence marked a historic court ruling, those closest to Floyd are still coming to terms with his loss. Stephen Jackson is one of those people, and during a recent podcast, the former NBA player became emotional while discussing the tragic death of his childhood friend.
“The tears will never go away because I really lost family,” Jackson said on Portal A’s “Charges With Rex Chapman” podcast.
Both Jackson and Floyd were raised in Houston, Texas. Jackson said that during the height of the Floyd protests, his phone rang off the hook with supporters, but, one year later, those supporting voices have lessened.
“Hearing Matt [Barnes] talk, it just took me back to that place.” A tearful Jackson said. “I’m still doing the work… my tears are still here.”
Jackson said he considered Floyd a brother, and his loss was felt throughout his immediate family.
“The tears will never go away, my momma will tell you… she even thought [George Floyd] was her son at times when she saw him, that’s how much we looked alike.” He said. “These tears are not fake, they’re real, so when I feel it they come out.”
On June 25, Derek Chauvin was sentenced to 270 months – 22 and a half years – for the murder of George Floyd, with 199 days credit for time already served. Even though Chauvin was found guilty of three counts, under Minnesota law, he could only be sentenced on the most serious crime — second-degree murder.
“I ask about him all the time,” Gianna Floyd said of her father during her victim impact statement. “I miss him and I love him.”
The seven-year-old was the first of four family members to speak during Chauvin’s sentencing. When asked what she would do if she ever saw her dad again, she replied, “I want to play with him.”
Floyd’s nephew, Brandon Williams, asked that the maximum penalty be imposed.
“What was going through your head when you had your knee on my brother’s neck?” Terrence Floyd asked Chauvin. Like Williams, he asked that his brother’s murderer receive the maximum sentence.
Philonise Floyd says nightmares of his older brother begging for his life haunt him to this day.
“George’s life mattered.” Philonise said. “My family and I have been given a life sentence, we will never be able to get George back.”
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