Charles Barkley Blasts Efforts to Defund Police: We Need to Stop This ‘Crap’

LOS ANGELES - JUN 24: Charles Barkley at the 2019 NBA Awards at the Barker Hanger on June 24, 2019 in Santa Monica, CA — Photo by Jean_Nelson

Charles Barkley is taking aim at the movement to “defund” the nation’s police departments.

Barkley called activists pushing for local governments to cut police budgets “fools,” during TNT’s Inside the NBA broadcast on Thursday.

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While the NBA analyst said he supports police reform, he believes having fewer officers on the streets will be detrimental to Black neighborhoods.

“We need police reform and prison reform and things like that. Because you know who ain’t going to defund the cops? White neighborhoods and rich neighborhoods,” Barkley stated. “I’m like, wait a minute. Who are Black people supposed to call, Ghostbusters? When we have crime in our neighborhoods? We need police reform. White people, especially rich white people, they’re always going to have cops. So, we need to stop that defund or abolish the cops crap.”

Barkley also said he disagrees with people comparing Breonna Taylor’s death to those of George Floyd or Ahmaud Arbery. He pointed to Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, who fired on Louisville police officers as they executed a “no-knock” search warrant. “We do have to take into account that her boyfriend did shoot at the cops, and shot a cop,” Barkley said.

The movement to defund police departments gained momentum after George Floyd died at the hands of Minneapolis officers in May.

Floyd’s death prompted protesters to take to the streets across the nation to demand police reforms and racial equality.

Many activists, including members of Black Lives Matter, want local governments to cut law enforcement budgets and shift the slashed funds to social and counseling programs.

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In July, the Los Angeles City Council voted to cut the LAPD’s $1.86 billion annual budget by $150 million in the next fiscal year.

Councilman Curren Price, who is Black, spearheaded the effort and said the money would be funneled into services for Black and Latino communities, including hiring programs and creating summer jobs for teens.

The Los Angeles Police Protective League, the union that represents the department’s sworn officers, denounced the vote and said: “It’s time to invest in better policing, not to defund public safety.”