Shaquille O’Neal Defends Police in Breonna Taylor Case: ‘I Imagine You Would Fire Back’

Shaquille O'Neal
Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year 2019

As with his colleague Charles Barkley, TNT basketball commentator Shaquille O’Neal drew the ire of the left after he made comments supportive of the police in the Breonna Taylor case.

During his Thursday broadcast, O’Neal began his comments pointing out that the Louisville, Kentucky, police officers involved in the Breonna Taylor case could not be legally charged with “murder.”

O’Neal also seemed sympathetic with the police officers who fired back after being fired upon first by Taylor’s boyfriend,

“You have to get a warrant signed, and some states do allow no-knock warrants,” O’Neal said during the NBA ON TNT broadcast. “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.”

O’Neal also agreed with co-host Charles Barkley that “lumping in” the Taylor shooting with other cases such as George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery is not the proper way to look at Taylor’s case.

For his part, Barkley had a lot of criticism for those who support the defund the police movement.

“Who are black people supposed to call, Ghost Busters, when we have crime in our neighborhood? We need to stop the defund or abolish the police crap,” Barkley said.

Barkley also supported police reform to eliminate the “bad” cops.

“We need to weed out the bad cops — you know I hear these guys getting on television these politicians talking about ‘defunding the police department,'” he said. “First of all, that would have a negative effect on the black communities — who the black people gonna call, Ghostbusters? Because they’re not gonna defund the police in the good white neighborhoods, so we need police reform.”

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