Hall of Famer Charles Barkley is being harshly condemned online after he broke with the unofficial NBA narrative Thursday regarding the police shooting death of Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky.
Speaking on TNT before the Western Conference Finals matchup between the Los Angeles Lakers and Denver Nuggets, the 11-time NBA All-Star commented on the decision of a Kentucky grand jury Wednesday not to recommend murder charges against any of the responding officers.
Three officers were attempting to serve a warrant at the residence of Taylor on March 13 when her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, shot and wounded an officer, which led police to respond by opening fire, NBC News reported.
Taylor, 26, was killed in the chaotic exchange of gunfire.
Former Louisville Metropolitan Police Officer Brett Hankison was charged with three counts of wanton endangerment for allegedly firing his service weapon carelessly during the incident, but none of the officers was directly charged in Taylor’s death.
“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.
“So, like I say, even though I’m really sorry she lost her life, I don’t think this is something we can put in the same situation as George Floyd or Ahmaud Arbery,” he said.
Charles Barkley says you can’t put the Breonna Taylor case in the same situation as George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery because her boyfriend shot at the police pic.twitter.com/8dMjVMZp39
— gifdsports (@gifdsports) September 25, 2020
The “Inside the NBA” co-host also mocked the idea of defunding police agencies being pushed by many on the left.
“I hear these fools on TV talking about ‘defund the police’ and things like that,” he said.
While agreeing with the ideas of police and prison reform, Barkley said, “You know who ain’t going to defund the cops? White neighborhoods and rich neighborhoods.
“So that notion they keep saying, I’m like, ‘Wait a minute … who are black people supposed to call, Ghostbusters, when we have crime in our neighborhoods?”
“We need to stop the defund or abolish the cops crap,” he said.
Charles Barkley on defunding the police “Who are black people supposed to call Ghost Busters when we have crime in our neighborhood? We need to stop the defund or abolish the police crap” pic.twitter.com/uEIsnX729g
— gifdsports (@gifdsports) September 25, 2020
“I have to agree with Charles, [Taylor’s case] is sort of lumped in [with other cases where black Americans have died],” he said, according to USA Today.
“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,” O’Neal said.
Regarding Taylor’s shooting, he said, “When you have a warrant signed by the judge, you are doing your job, and I would imagine that you would fire back.”
Barkley and O’Neal quickly became targets of criticism online:
WARNING: Some of the social media posts below contain language that some readers might find offensive.
I’m done with Charles Barkley. Stop asking him about black issues.
— Dos Virgils (@thisiseaston) September 25, 2020
Charles Barkley said we can’t put Breonna Taylor’s case in same breath as George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery because we have to account for Breonna’s boyfriend shooting at the officer. pic.twitter.com/H4osAVKlKD
— Chris Williamson (@CWilliamson44) September 25, 2020
I watch Inside the NBA specifically to hear well-informed takes about cops from Charles Barkley (Republican), Ernie Johnson (2016 John Kasich voter), and Shaq (literally a cop)
— sreekar (@sreekyshooter) September 25, 2020
I didn’t know I could be this disgusted by Charles Barkley.
— Adam Parkhomenko (@AdamParkhomenko) September 25, 2020
Really disappointed in that commentary from Shaq and Charles Barkley about the #BreonnaTaylor situation. That bothered me as a Black Man to see that. Fuck both of them
— Beezy Wheatstraw ?? ♋♌ (@JBeZ1) September 25, 2020
I dnt know why Charles barkley still surprises yall lolpic.twitter.com/L7AIkso4Gx
— tayö (@tayoshi2) September 25, 2020
i know Charles Barkley did NOT just say on national television — “i’m sad Breonna Taylor lost her life, but we can’t forget her boyfriend did fire at a cop first.”
please tell me i heard that wrong incorrectly …
— Ashley Nicole. (@AshNicoleMoss) September 25, 2020
F*ck Charles Barkley coon self
— Kevin (@TheKBGawd) September 25, 2020
King coon Charles Barkley barking out foolishness again ! pic.twitter.com/0z1pa6aQcd
— ??Jay ?? (@jirakong) September 25, 2020
“I’m devastated, hurt, sad, mad!” he tweeted Wednesday. “We want Justice for Breonna yet justice was met for her neighbors apartment walls and not her beautiful life. Was I surprised at the verdict. Absolutely not but damnit I was & still am hurt and heavy hearted!
“I send my love to Breonna mother, family and friends! I’m sorry! I’m sorry! I’m sorry!!”
my love to Breonna mother, family and
friends! I’m sorry! I’m sorry! I’m sorry!! ??????????
— LeBron James (@KingJames) September 24, 2020
James also told reporters he was upset at the grand jury’s decision.
“I know we lost a beautiful woman in Breonna … we want justice no matter how long it takes.”
—LeBron James on the Breonna Taylor decision pic.twitter.com/jUEUCsVrDn
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 25, 2020
“I know we lost a beautiful woman in Breonna,” he said, adding, “We want justice no matter how long it takes.”
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