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Breonna Talyor: Charles Barley and Shaquille O'Neal attacked for 'defending cops'

Charles Barkley and Sahquille O'Neal have been attacked on Twitter for defending the police after giving their views on the Breonna Taylor case. 

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.

That stance saw the pair immediately come 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 

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.' 

'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

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. 

'It's a tragedy and we just hope there's better days. We hope for better days and to spread love and not hate.' 

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