Charles Barkley and Sahquille O’Neal were accused of defending Louisville police officers who killed Breonna Taylor and blaming the black EMT’s boyfriend for opening fire first.
Barkley and O’Neal were discussing Taylor’s death and the decision not to indict any officer for his killing during the TNT pre-match show before the Los Angeles Lakers vs Denver Nuggets game on Thursday.
Barkley argued that Taylor’s death cannot be compared to the police killing of black man George Floyd because Taylor’s boyfriend Kenneth Walker first shot officers when they entered his apartment with a warrant. not to knock.
‘I’m sad that this young woman lost her life. I think the mandate not to knock is something we need to get rid of across the board. But we have to take into account that her boyfriend shot the police and shot a policeman.
Shaquille O’Neal (left) and Charles Barkley (right) were targeted after telling spectators at the Lakers-Nuggets game that Breonna Taylor’s death “wasn’t the same” as George Floyd.
O’Neal agreed and argued that the officers involved were simply “doing their job” on a warrant signed by a judge.
He also added that he believed the system needed to change.
‘You have to get a warrant signed and some states allow warrants not to knock. Everyone was asking for murder charges, “he said.” When you talk about murder, you have to show intent. A murder has occurred and we are sorry that a murder has occurred.
“When you have a warrant signed by the judge, you are doing your job and I guess you would fire back.”
O’Neal last year became deputy in the auxiliary department of the Broward County Sheriff’s Office in Florida, but it’s unclear what his duties entail. He was previously sworn in as a reserve police officer in the departments in California, Florida and Arizona and as a deputy marshal in Lafayette, Louisiana.
Although O’Neal has held a few law enforcement roles since retiring from the NBA in 2011, his positions have mostly been unpaid and honorary.
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced Wednesday that a grand jury had not filed criminal charges against the three police officers for their roles in Taylor’s death.
The grand jury’s decision to indict an officer, Brett Hankison, on charges of arbitrary danger because his bullets were fired at a neighbor’s apartment came after a six-month investigation conducted by Cameron’s office.
A Twitter user accused the couple of ‘throwing black women under the bus’ as viewers vented their anger and frustration online
Herb Jones, a former Democratic candidate for the Virginia Senate, said he had “ lost respect ” for both Barkley and O’Neal after their remarks
Echoing comments made Thursday by a retired LAPD sergeant, one user labeled the pair as “skin folk” but not “kin folk”.
Barkley and O’Neal were immediately targeted on social media for their comments as they were accused of “defending the police”.
One person branded them: “Skin people, not kinsmen”.
“Charles and Shaq both throw women of color under the bus,” wrote an account with the username Justice for Breonna Taylor. “SHAME, I was a fan.”
Herb Jones, a former Democratic candidate for the Virginia Senate, added: “ I have lost a lot of respect for Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal today in regards to their comments on the murder of Breonna Taylor …
“So it’s okay for some people to protect themselves but isn’t it okay for others?”
During the same show, Barkley also spoke of calls from protesters to “divest the police”, warning against instinctive responses to police killings.
He argued that the defunding of the police will mean the removal of the officers from the white quarters, leaving the black ones unprotected.
“Who should the blacks call,” he said, “Ghostbusters?”
Instead of removing the police, he said “we need police reform and prison reform.”
Barkley’s comments are in stark contrast to other prominent NBA figures, including LeBron James, who have thrown their weight behind social justice activists fighting over the officers’ indictment.
After Thursday night’s game, which saw the Lakers win, LeBron said: ‘I know we lost a beautiful woman in Breonna. And we want justice, no matter how long it takes.
‘We are here playing this game and it is very difficult and very difficult, but at the same time, our hearts are with that family. And what’s going on is so unfair.
‘It’s a tragedy and let’s just hope there are better days. We hope for better days and to spread love and not hate ”.
Breonna Taylor was shot and killed by police during a police raid on her apartment in March using a no-knock warrant
Breonna Taylor is pictured above with her fiance Kenneth Walker. He opened fire on the officers who broke into Taylor’s apartment and the officers returned fire
It comes when more than 1,000 people defied a second night curfew in Louisville to protest the lack of criminal charges for Taylor’s death with some protesters seeking refuge in a church overnight.
Two officers had been killed in the fighting in Louisville the day before.
More than a thousand people protested Thursday night in the city center, most of which was closed to traffic, with several shops closed pending further violence.
With a 21:00 to 6:30 curfew in effect over the weekend, around 100 violating protesters sought refuge at the First Unitarian Church.
Heavily armed police surrounded the building and helicopters flew overhead, but protesters were allowed to leave at around 11pm.
Authorities arrested at least 24 people on charges including illegal assembly, non-dispersion and first-degree riot, police said.
The city, however, seemed to avoid the violence of the night before.
The demonstrations took place in Louisville, where the shooting took place, amid the news that an officer was indicted – and not for firing the shots that killed her.
Since his death, and the death of George Floyd, protesters have called on the officers involved to face harsh sanctions
Police officers have a perimeter around the First Unitarian church where protesters seek refuge during a curfew, one day after a grand jury decision on Taylor’s killing in March at his home in Louisville, Kentucky.
Protesters confront police officers outside the First Unitarian Church in Louisville, where they took refuge to protest the lack of criminal charges in the police murder of Breonna Taylor in downtown Louisville, Kentucky last night.
Protesters also gathered in other cities in the country, including Philadelphia, New York and Los Angeles.
In Los Angeles, a vehicle went through a crowd of people protesting police brutality, injuring at least one person.
Footage from the ground and a news helicopter shows a black pickup truck plowing through the crowd, hitting a woman and throwing her onto the sidewalk.
As protesters start swarming around the truck, trying to open the driver’s door, the truck accelerates, appears to pass over the injured demonstrator, and a street doctor is narrowly missed and rushed to take care of her.
An LAPD helicopter that was monitoring the protest was able to follow the truck as it drove away, directing the ground units that stopped the driver.
The truck driver was seen being taken into police custody, but his name was not released and information about the charge was not immediately available.
In Portland, a city that has seen many protests since George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis, a fire was set in a police union building.
In St. Louis, protesters blocked the westbound lanes of Interstate 64 and in New York City, a large group of protesters marched into Manhattan from Brooklyn on Williamsburg Bridge.