Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal defended police while they were on television, now they’re being criticized by the Black Lives Matter movement. While Barkley and O’Neal discussed the details of Breonna Taylor’s death, they mentioned facts like how police forced down her apartment door while she slept and shot her while she was sleeping. However, both former NBA players came to the defense of the Louisville police officers because Taylor’s boyfriend opened fire on the cops.
Last week, a grand jury in Louisville decided not to charge the police officers in the death of Breonna Taylor, a first responder paramedic. But before the Los Angeles Lakers and the Denver Nuggets prepared to play each other on Thursday, O’Neal and Barkley got into a discussion about the Taylor case on TNT.
Barkley, who is not afraid to voice an unpopular opinion, argued that Taylor’s death is not the same as George Floyd’s. Because Floyd was choked to death on the streets of Minneapolis for no apparent reason, Taylor was collateral damage after police botched a raid on her apartment.
Because police barged into Taylor’s apartment on a “no knock” warrant, boyfriend Kenneth Walker did not know what was going on. The raid woke Walker from a light sleep. He heard shouting as the police broke through the apartment’s front door. No officer announced themselves upon entering; yet, they were prepared to fire back at Walker after he exercised the second-amendment to protect his girlfriend.
“I don’t think this one was like George Floyd or Ahmaud Arbery and things like that,” Barkley said. “I feel sad that this young lady lost her life. I think the no-knock warrant is something we need to get rid of across the board. But we do have to take into account that her boyfriend shot at the cops and shot a cop.”
O’Neal agreed with Barkley – which does not happen too often. He added that he felt the cops were “doing their job” and that the unfortunate events were simply that – unfortunate – and not sinister or evil.
“You have to get a warrant signed, and some states do allow no-knock warrants. Everyone was asking for murder charges,” O’Neal 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.”
O’Neal has experience in law enforcement. Last year, he became a deputy in the auxiliary department of Broward County Sheriff’s Office. Although his duties are not clearly defined, he is prepared to defend the law. Prior to his work with Broward County in Florida, O’Neal has served as reserve police officers at departments in California, Florida, and Arizona. In Lafayette, Louisiana, he worked as a deputy marshal. Clearly, he has a love for law enforcement.
Fans of the NBA legends were not happy to hear that they sided with the Louisville police officers responsible for Taylor’s death.
“Skin folk, not kin folk,” wrote one person.
“Charles and Shaq both throwing black women under the bus,” the “Justice for Breonna Taylor” account wrote. “SHAME, I used to be a fan.”
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