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Charles Barkley mocks calls to defund police: 'Who are black people supposed to call? Ghostbusters?'
NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley on Thursday mocked calls to defund the police, asking, "Who are black people supposed to call? Ghostbusters?" during an NBA playoffs pregame show on TNT.
"We have to really be careful," Barkley cautioned. "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."
"So, that notion, they keep saying that," Barkley added. "I'm like, wait a minute, who are black people supposed to call? Ghostbusters?"
Barkley also cautioned not to "lump" Breonna Taylor's death with other high-profile police killings involving African Americans this year including George Floyd, with Barkley noting Taylor's 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. "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," he added.
The remarks quickly picked up steam on social media, with various Twitter accounts sharing video of the clip.
Fellow Hall of Famer Shaquille O'Neal, officially a deputy at a sheriff's office in Florida, agreed with Barkley's perspective.
"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 said. "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."
Protests broke out in Louisville, Ky., following the news earlier in the week that the police involved in the Taylor shooting would not face murder charges.
Two Louisville police officers were shot amid the protests on Wednesday night. Both are recovering, with one officer returning to duty last night.