Famous American NBA pundit and former pro basketball player Charles Barkley has recently stepped forward to address calls regarding the police funding made amid the ongoing BLM protests in the United States.
During his appearance on an NBA playoff pregame show on TNT, Barkley criticized those urging to "defund the police", arguing that it may not be such a good idea.
"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", he remarked. "So, that notion, they keep saying that, I'm like, wait a minute, who are black people supposed to call? Ghostbusters?"
Charles Barkley on defunding the police "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" pic.twitter.com/uEIsnX729g— gifdsports (@gifdsports) September 25, 2020
Barkley's remarks elicited a somewhat mixed reaction online, as while some seemed to appreciate his sentiment, others proceeded to argue about what exactly the calls to "defund the police" imply.
Defund is NOT abolish— James Le Blanc IV (@James_LBIV) September 25, 2020
Put money into resources that prevent crime
Raise the wage for police officers and hold them accountable for their actions
Defund the police!!!!
Makes sense. If major police departments are defunded, smaller wealthy departments will grow, funded by tax payers. Wealthy areas will continue to pay for police. This becomes a wealth inequality issue. Wealthy communities stay protected, poorer don't because of underfunding.— Aliens Exist 🇺🇸 (@sinnedLA) September 25, 2020
The term “defunding the police” means take some of the funding from the department to put into other departments so you don’t have officers responding to 50 different types of calls things like mental illness disturbances don’t require somebody with a gun to show up.— #BlackLivesMatter✊🏽🤎 (@Sarcstic_one) September 25, 2020
defund the police is bad phrasing. no one wants to get rid of the police altogether..but some of their duties and funds should be reallocated to other depts or programs that would enrich downtrodden areas and decrease crime through education/resources rather than have more cops— Berg (@GCane82) September 25, 2020
As The Hill points out, Barkley also mentioned the tragic death of Breonna Taylor, cautioning people not to "lump" her case together with "other high-profile cases involving African-Americans this year including George Floyd", as he pointed out that Taylor's boyfriend did shoot first at the cops.
"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", he said. "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."
God bless Barkley. He also is the only NBA commentator willing to point out that Brianna Taylor’s boyfriend fired first and hit a cop before they returned fire at him. The lack of basic factual understanding in this case is staggering. pic.twitter.com/2DFIs1XjNn— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) September 25, 2020
Protests erupted in the city of Louisville, Kentucky earlier this week after a US Grand Jury ruled to not charge any police officer involved in the fatal shooting of African-American woman Breonna Taylor during a narcotics raid back in March, with only one officer being indicted for wanton endangerment.