George Floyd

Demonstrators Protesting George Floyd's Death Block Lanes on San Jose Highway

The death of George Floyd and the ongoing demonstrations in Minnesota have sparked action from Bay Area community leaders and activists.

Floyd's death was caught in a viral video out of the Twin Cities. It shows Floyd, an unarmed black man taking in his final breaths, while a white police officer presses his knee against his neck.

On Friday afternoon, hundreds of protesters marched through downtown San Jose before making their way to Highway 101 where they crossed the busy thoroughfare and blocked traffic.

Demonstrators outraged by the death of George Floyd in Minnesota blocked both directions of Highway 101 in San Jose Friday afternoon.

A day before, a handful of peaceful demonstrators held signs and demanded justice for Floyd outside San Jose's City Hall.

"We just want to protect black lives," said Imani Cal, a San Jose resident who participated in the demonstration. "Every day it feels like we're being taken advantage of by police, by the justice system."

In the East Bay, dozens of protesters late Thursday chanted outside the Oakland Police Department expressing anger over the killing of Floyd. Another protest is expected to be held Friday evening in Oakland.

The four officers involved in Floyd's death have been fired from the department. One has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Demonstrations continue around the country today after the death of George Floyd while in police custody. Take a look at some of the scenes from across the nation.

A former Golden State Warriors player who was good friends with Floyd is also speaking out.

"It hurt man, it hurt," a distraught Stephen Jackson said, speaking to NBC's Craig Melvin on the Today Show Thursday morning.

Jackson, a now retired NBA star who played for the Warriors from 2007 to 2009, revealed that he was a close friend of Floyd, a 46-year-old black man who died after a white Minneapolis officer pinned him down to the ground with his knee.

Jackson is joining the chorus of protesters on the streets of Minnesota who are calling themselves the "We Can't Breathe" movement. They were calling on authorities to arrest the now fired, former police officers involved.

"Change is going to start with George Floyd," Jackson said.

Oscar Grant's uncle, Cephus Johnson, said Floyd's death brought back memories to what happened to his nephew on Jan. 1, 2000 at the Fruitvale BART station.

Grant died at the hands of a BART police officer, which was also caught on video and sparked numerous protests in Oakland that touched off a national conversation about police brutality.

"We're fighting the pandemic and we're fighting this issue of hate," said Wanda Johnson, Grant's mother.

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