Presenting the TNT pregame show ahead the Los Angeles Lakers vs Denver Nuggets, Barkley said Taylor’s death couldn’t be compared to the killing of George Floyd because Taylor’s boyfriend opened fire on police who then shot back.
O’Neal agreed, saying that – while the system may need to change – the officers involved were simply ‘doing their job’ on a warrant signed by a judge.
It comes after one of the police officers involved in the raid that killed Taylor was indicted, though not for firing the shots that killed her.
Barkley and O’Neal immediately came under fire on social media for ‘defending the police’, as one person branded them: ‘Skin folk, not kin folk.’
Shaquille O’Neal (left) and Charles Barkley (right) have come under fire after telling viewers of the Lakers-Nuggets game that Breonna Taylor’s death was ‘not the same’ as George Floyd
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
Barkley said: ‘I don’t think this one was like George Floyd or Ahmaud Arbery and things like that.
‘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.’
Shaquille echoed his comments, responding: ‘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.’
‘Charles and Shaq both throwing black women under the bus,’ one account with the user name Justice for Breonna Taylor wrote. ‘SHAME, I used to be a fan.’
Herb Jones, a former Democrat candidate for the Virginia Senate, added: ‘Lost much respect for Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal today regarding their comments regarding the murder of Breonna Taylor…
‘So it’s OK for some people to protect themselves but not OK for others?’
One Twitter user accused the pair of ‘throwing black women under the bus’ as viewers vented their anger and frustration online
Herb Jones, a former Democrat candidate for the Virginia Senate, said he had ‘lost respect’ for both Barkley and O’Neal after their remarks
Echoing comments made by a retired LAPD sergeant on Thursday, one user branded the pair ‘skin folk’ but not ‘kin folk’
During the same show, Barkley also spoke out on calls by protesters to ‘defund the police’, cautioning against knee-jerk responses to cop killings.
He argued that defunding cops will mean officers being removed from white neighborhoods, leaving black ones unprotected.
‘Who are black folks supposed to call,’ he said, ‘Ghostbusters?’
Instead of removing police, he said, ‘we need police reform and prison reform’.
Barkley’s comments stand in marked contrast to other prominent figures in the NBA, including LeBron James, who have thrown their weight behind social justice campaigners fighting for the officers to be charged.
Following Thursday night’s game, which saw the Lakers win, LeBron said: ‘I know we lost a beautiful woman in Breonna. And we want justice no matter how long it takes.
‘We’re here playing this game and it is very hard and very difficult, but at the same time, our hearts are with that family. And it is just so unjustice what’s going on.
Breonna Taylor was shot and killed by police during a botched police raid on her apartment back in March using a no-knock warrant
Demonstrations have taken place in Louisville, where the shooting happened, amid the news that one officer has been indicted – and not for firing the shots that killed her
Since her death, and since the death of George Floyd, protesters have been calling for the officers involved to face harsh penalties
‘It’s a tragedy and we just hope there’s better days. We hope for better days and to spread love and not hate.’
News of the indictment in Taylor’s case reignited demonstrations across the country, many of which have been ongoing since the killing of George Floyd in May.
In Louisville, where the shooting took place, around 200 Black Lives Matter activists got into a two-hour standoff with police after a 9pm curfew elapsed.
The protesters gathered in the ground of a church claiming sanctuary, after being invited in by the clergy, while police tried to disperse them.
Around 20 people – including a Democrat lawmaker who sponsored legislation called Breonna’s Law to end no-knock warrants – were arrested.
Police said the arrests were on charges of unlawful assembly and rioting after the windows of a nearby library were broken and a flare thrown inside.
Police officers hold a perimeter around the First Unitarian Church where protesters are seeking refuge at during a curfew, a day after a grand jury decision in the March killing of Taylor in her home in Louisville, Kentucky
Protestors face off with police officers outside of First Unitarian Church of Louisville where they took refuge as they protest the lack of criminal charges in the police killing of Breonna Taylor, in downtown Louisville, Kentucky last night
The other protesters were allowed to leave peacefully after negotiating with cops.
In LA, one protester was run down by a truck in a seemingly unprovoked attack.
Footage from the ground as well as a news chopper shows a black pickup truck plowing into the crowd, striking a woman and throwing her to the pavement.
As the protesters begin to swarm around the truck, trying to open the driver’s side door, the truck speeds off, appearing to drive over the injured protester and narrowly missing a street medic who rushed to attend to her.
An LAPD helicopter that was tracking the protest was able to follow the truck as it sped off, directing ground units which pulled over the driver.
The truck driver was seen being taken into police custody, but his name has not been released and charging information was not immediately available.
In St. Louis, protesters blocked westbound lanes of Interstate 64, and in New York City, a large group of demonstrators marched into Manhattan from Brooklyn over the Williamsburg Bridge.
A protestor who was run over by a car is attended too as paramedics arrive on Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood Thursday. A car broke through the protest group and sped off
Police followed the driver and took him into custody without incident, as seen above