Charles Barkely is known for giving us hot takes. This time, Barkely came to the defense of the officers whom killed Breonna Taylor. During NBA on TNT tonight, Barkley addressed the Breonna Taylor case and said:
“It’s bad the young lady lost her life, but we do have to take into account that her boyfriend did shoot at the cops and shot a cop,” Barkley said. Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fired a warning shot after being awoken to what he thought was intruders breaking into their home. Officers then returned fire shooting Taylor 6 times, killing her.
“So, like I said,” he continued, “even though I’m really sorry she lost her life, I don’t think that we can just put this in the same situation as George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery. I just don’t believe that.”
Shaq then chimed in on Barkley's comments stating:
“I have to agree with Charles, this one is sort of lumped in,” Shaq said. “You have to get a warrant signed and some states do allow no-knock warrants. And everyone was asking for murder charges.
“When you talk about murder, you have to show intent. A homicide occurred and we’re sorry a homicide occurred. When you have a warrant signed by the judge, you are doing your job, and I would imagine that you would fire back.”
Barkley then expressed his thoughts of the Black Lives Matter movement calling for the de-funding of police, arguing that low income communities would be hurt the most if police are pulled off the street.
“We have to really be careful,” Barkley said. “I hear these fools on tv talking about ‘defund the police’ and things like that. We need police reform, prison reform, and things like that. Because you know who ain’t going to defund the cops? White neighborhoods and rich neighborhoods.”
“So, that notion, they keep saying that,” Barkley continued. “I’m like, wait a minute, who are black people supposed to call? Ghostbusters?”
“We need police reform,” he reiterated. “But like I say, white people, especially rich white people, they’re always going to have cops. So we need to stop that ‘defund’ or ‘abolish the cops’ crap.”
Ironically, de-fund the police is calling for police reform. Re-appropriating funds to areas that are lacking like officers who specialize in responding to mental health crisis vs normal everyday officers.
Since his comments hit the internet, social media has been lighting up Charles with opinions of their own.