Charles Barkley on Thursday dismissed calls to defund the police and said Breonna Taylor's death should not be put in the same situation as those of George Floyd and Ahmed Arbery. The NBA Hall-of-Famer's comments left Twitter divided with some people supporting him and others mocking Barkley.
The 57-year-old made the comments on TNT during an NBA playoffs pregame show with Shaquille O'Neal, his fellow NBA Hall-of-Famer. Barkley placed the blame of Taylor's fatal shooting on her boyfriend Kenneth Walker, who said he fired one shot believing the cops were intruders. The police officers were conducting a narcotics raid at Taylor's apartment in March but failed to find any drugs.
"This one, I don't think it was like George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery and things like that. 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," he said. "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."
O'Neal agreed with Barkley's opinion and defended the Louisville police officers saying they were simply doing their job. He also said that the 26-year-old EMT's death was not a murder.
"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. And everyone was asking for murder charges," he said. "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 also appeared to make light of calls of defunding the police. He also called the people who demanded police defunding "fools."
"We have to really be careful. 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," Barkley said. "So, that notion, they keep saying that. I'm like, wait a minute, who are black people supposed to call? Ghostbusters?"
Twitter users were divided over Barkley's comments. While some agreed with his statements, others mocked him.