Charles Barkley on Police Shootings: "We've Got to Do Better as Black People"
Former NBA star and TNT commentator Charles Barkley appeared on Dan Le Batard's radio show, spewing the same rhetoric that he has over the years during the topic of police brutality. Barkley weighed in on the fatal shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile at the hands of police officers, and made some controversial comments.
We need the cops, especially in the black community. We as black people; we’ve got to do better. We never get mad when black people kill each other, which that always has bothered me,” Barkley said. "I've always said we as black people, if you want respect you have to give respect. You can't demand respect from white people and the cops if you don't respect each other," he continued.
Barkley has often spoken out about black-on-black crime while reiterating his support of police officers. He noted that the officers probably panicked in each situation. In particular with the shooting of Castile, Barkley says he spoke with his bodyguard (a black cop) who says to never put your ID where you put your gun. He says Castile warned the cop that he had a gun and then reached, which set off a panic. Barkley also gave an explanation for the Sterling shooting saying, "In Louisiana I think those cops clearly overreacted, but there's no doubt in my mind that if I'm fighting with a guy and somebody scream gun, and I got a gun, I'm gonna shoot the guy."
When Dan began to point out that there's a problem because the cops panic more around black people, Barkley responded, "because some black people, they are crooks!"
"There is some reason why there's racial stereotypes, because some of these black people out there are committing crimes," Barkley continued. He explained that there's racism on both sides, and that we need to work together with the cops.
He then again echoed his sentiment on black-on-black crime, "Why don't black people get mad when we kill each other?" Barkley said, "I'm not trying to deflect or place blame, that's just a fact. We don’t have nearly outrage that we do when a white cop kills somebody. I been black my whole life, most black people I know are killed by other black people."
Barkley echoed a similar sentiment when he agreed with the grand jury to not indict officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown. His comments prompted an open letter from his co-host Kenny Smith, who tried to explain to him why he was wrong about his comments towards the black community.