'That's ridiculous': NBA great Charles Barkley again rails against notion cops purposely kill blacks
By RYAN GORMAN
NBA great Charles Barkley doubled-down on his recent comments against violent Ferguson protesters and African Americans who see police as the enemy.
The Hall of Famer told CNN that it is "ridiculous" to think white cops are out to shoot black people, a reiteration the comments made last week to a Philly radio station in support of the Ferguson grand jury's decision to not indict Darren Wilson for shooting Michael Brown dead.
"There's a reason [police] racially profile us at times," said the hardwood legend. "Sometimes it's wrong, sometimes it's right, [but] to sit there and act like we hold no responsibility for some of this stuff, that's disingenuous."
Barkley did not back down from his belief that some African Americans, not cops, are the problem.
"There are some black people out there who are crooks," said the former Phoenix Suns star. "When the police come ... it's a tense situation. The only time you interact with the cops is when things are going wrong.
"We, as black people, we got a lot of crooks. We can't just wait until something like this happens. We have to look at ourselves in the mirror."
The 11-time All-Star further explained that all races have bad actors, not just blacks or whites.
"We never discuss race in this country until something bad happens," the legendary power forward told the network. "Everybody wants to protect their own tribe, whether they are right or wrong."
"You judge everybody on their own individual merit," he said his grandmother told him while he was growing up. "I don't care what any jack ass has to say, you don't put everybody together.
"Black is not always right, and white is not always wrong."
Barkley also said rioting in Ferguson was the work of "some bad apples" taking advantage of and hijacking what should be a much more serious situation – "somebody lost a child."
He then railed against protesters claiming racial motives behind the August 9 shooting of the African American Michael Brown by Wilson, who is white.
"The notion that white cops are out there just killing black people, that's ridiculous," said the two-time Olympic gold medalist. "It's just flat-out ridiculous."
Barkley then took a not-so-subtle dig at the likes of Al Sharpton and other civil rights leaders who have argued to the contrary.
"I challenge any black person to try to make that point. This notion that cops are – cops are actually awesome, they're the only thing in the ghetto between this place being the wild, wild west.
"So this notion, that cops are out there just killing black men, is ridiculous," he continued. "I hate that narrative coming out of this entire situation."
Barkley's comments were not just limited to Ferguson.
When CNN reporter Brooke Baldwin tried to bait Barkley into saying Eric Garner's death was a homicide, the "Round Mound of Rebound" swatted the idea to the ground like an ill-timed jumper.
"I don't think that was a homicide," said the former Philadelphia 76er. "I think that cops were trying to arrest him and they got a little aggressive. I think, excessive force, but to go right to murder."
Garner died while being arrested by NYPD cops. He appeared to resist arrest before being taken down to the ground. A coroner ruled he died of asphyxiation, and media reports suggested the suffocation was caused by an illegal chokehold.
"When the cops are trying to arrest you, if you fight back, things go wrong," he said. "That doesn't mean – I don't think they were trying to kill Mr. Garner."
A New York grand jury agreed with Barkley. NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo was cleared Wednesday of all wrongdoing in Garner's death.
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