Charles Barkley, Not Surprisingly, Deviates from the NBA Community on Breonna Taylor Case

There’s a lot of talk about the Breonna Taylor case seeping into the sports world.

You’re probably familiar with the story at some level. Taylor, a Louisville woman, was killed in her apartment after a shootout involving three police officers and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker. The officers were ultimately not charged, when this week a grand jury ruled that the men were justified in returning fire after Walker fire upon them, though advocates for Taylor and Walker say police entered their apartment unannounced, which would have given Walker the right to defend himself against unknown intruders. One of the policemen does face wanton endangerment charges, though not directly related to Taylor’s death.

Those are the Cliffs Notes, and it’s interesting how the ruling is being received in the basketball world, which was much more alert to the Taylor case as part of the larger social justice movement sweeping the country.

Dueling thoughts here, first from Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal:

Here’s what Shaq said about that, in response to Charles, via AOL:

“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. 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.”

And a second clip:

LeBron James didn’t speak too much on the specifics of the case, but offered a rather heartfelt take on the matter. He’s been the lead figure down there in Orlando, in terms of representing how the greater NBA community seems to feel about the shooting:

The case itself is somewhat complicated. Police were on the scene as part of a drug trafficking investigation involving Taylor’s ex-boyfriend, who was not present. A lot of the chatter on social media centers on the warrant and whether or not police were clear when announcing their presence on the property before forcing their way in. Kentucky is a “stand your ground” state, so under normal circumstances, Walker would have been justified using force in self defense. The police, of course, can legally return fire if they themselves are fired upon, or threatened.

More than anything, it just seems like another American tragedy that didn’t have to happen.

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