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Charles Barkley and Shaquille O'Neal have both spoken out in defense of the police in the tragic incident that took the life of Breonna Taylor during a shootout between her boyfriend and the police. The comments were made during an NBA broadcast Thursday night.
Barkley commented, "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. I don't think this one was like George Floyd or Ahmaud Arbery and things like that,"
Regarding the idea of defunding the police, Barkley said, "Who are black folks supposed to call, Ghostbusters?"
According to the Daily Mail, both famous Hall of Fame athletes were discussing the recent grand jury decision to indict only one of the officers involved in the incident, and on charges that didn't have to do directly with Taylor's death. O'Neal also chimed in:
"You have to get a warrant signed and some states do allow no-knock warrants. 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."
O'Neal, however, also did comment that the system "needed to change."
O'Neal is famous for having been deputized by local law enforcement agencies on more than one occasion. The most famous incident of these was when he pursued a man in Miami Beach who had attacked a gay couple with a bottle, and helped apprehend him.
Later he commented on the incident: "For this incident I don't want to be credited as an individual who does police work. I want to be credited as a Miami Beach police officer."
People on Twitter were quick to both uplift and criticize the pair:
The Louisville grand jury decided to indict Brett Hankison for wanton endangerment because he fired multiple rounds into a neighbour's apartment. According to critics, this isn't enough because nobody was directly implicated in the death of Taylor.
Protests and riots in Louisville continued throughout last night, despite a 9pm curfew.