Atlanta, GA – Basketball Hall-of-Fame legend Charles Barkley enraged Black Lives Matter supporters on Thursday night during TNT’s pregame show when he said the Breonna Taylor shooting shouldn’t be compared to other black people who had been shot by police.
His co-host, National Basketball Association (NBA) legend Shaquille O’Neal, said he agreed with Barkley that the fatal officer-involved shooting of Taylor during the raid in Louisville shouldn’t be compared to other instances where unarmed black people were killed.
The remarks by Barkley and O’Neal were made on Sept. 25 before the Los Angeles Lakers and Denver Nuggets game, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Taylor was killed when Louisville Metropolitan Police Department (LMPD) officers served a warrant on Taylor’s home shortly after midnight on March 13.
An investigation by the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office revealed that, despite the fact the officers had a “no knock” warrant the night Taylor was shot, police announced themselves before they attempted to enter the residence.
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron said that an independent civilian witness had confirmed having heard the officers announce themselves.
The attorney general said it was after that clear announcement that police busted through the door and saw a man and woman at the end of the hallway.
Sgt. Mattingly was immediately shot, according to Cameron.
“Kenneth Walker fired the shot that hit Sgt. Mattingly,” the attorney general confirmed.
He debunked claims by Walker that Sgt. Mattingly was shot by a fellow officer during the chaos that ensued.
Cameron said Sgt. Mattingly was struck by a 9mm bullet from Walker’s weapon and officers had been carrying 40-caliber weapons.
Taylor was shot six times by the officers who returned fire, but no officers were charged in connection with her death because the state’s investigation determined that the officers had been justified in returning fire at Walker.
The TNT sports analysts talked about how the Taylor shooting was different from others that have sparked protests nationwide, The Hollywood Reporter reported.
“I don’t think this one was like George Floyd or Ahmaud Arbery and things like that,” Barkley said during the pre-game show. “I feel sad that this young lady lost her life. I think this one was — the no-knock warrant is something we need to get rid of… across the board. But I am worried to lump all these situations in together.”
“And I just feel bad that the young lady lost her life. But we do have to take into account that her boyfriend shot at the cops and shot a cop,” the basketball great pointed out. “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 his fellow analyst, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“I have to agree with Charles, this one is sort of lumped in,” O’Neal said. “You have to get a warrant signed and some states do allow no-knock warrants. And everyone was asking for murder charges.”
“When you talk about murder, you have to show intent,” he continued. “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 condemned the movement to defund the police, The Hollywood Reporter reported.
“I hear these fools on TV talking about defund the police and things like that,” he said. “I’m like, wait a minute, who are black people supposed to call? Ghostbusters? When we have crime in our neighborhoods?”