NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley urged Americans not to “lump” Breonna Taylor’s death in with other high profile police shootings, saying that her boyfriend shot at police first.
“This one, I don’t think it was like George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery and things like that,” Barkley said on TNT’s “Inside The NBA” Thursday night during the pregame show for Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Denver Nuggets. “I feel bad this young lady lost her life but you know we do have to take into account her boyfriend did shoot at the cops and shot a cop.”
“So like I say, even though I am really sorry she lost her life, I just don’t think we can put this in the same situation as George Floyd or Ahmaud Arbery,” Barkley continued.
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
Fellow Hall of Famer and commentator Shaquille O’Neal agreed with Barkley’s take on Taylor’s death saying, “I have to agree with Charles, this one is sort of lumped in.”
“You have to get a warrant signed and some states do allow no-knock warrants,” O’Neal continued. “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 was promptly criticized by many on Twitter for his comment and was trending on the social media platform.
“I didn’t know I could be this disgusted by Charles Barkley,” Democratic strategist Adam Parkhomenko tweeted.
I didn’t know I could be this disgusted by Charles Barkley.
— Adam Parkhomenko (@AdamParkhomenko) September 25, 2020
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced Wednesday that his office would not be pursuing charges against police officers directly involved in the shooting death of Breonna Taylor in Louisville on March 13 saying that the officers who served a warrant on her apartment, did knock on the door and announce themselves prior to entering the apartment. When they entered, Taylor’s boyfriend fired at police, and she was killed in the crossfire when police returned fire.
Barkley also pushed back against the movement to defund police departments across the country, including in Louisville, where protesters and rioters reacting to Cameron’s Taylor announcement called for the police force to be abolished.
“I hear these fools on TV talking about defund the police and things like that…I’m like wait a minute who are black people supposed to call? Ghostbusters? When we have crime in our neighborhoods?”