VOTE: Do you agree with Charles Barkley’s opinions on recent events?
Speaking his mind has always been “Sir Charles’” stock in trade.
And on the subject on race in America, and in the wake of the recent grand jury findings in both Missouri and New York, he’s had plenty to say.
For instance, last week he referred to the rioters that had set Fergurson, Missouri ablaze as “scumbags.”
“The notion that white cops are out there just killing black people is ridiculous. It’s flat-out ridiculous,” Barkley said on CNN, which is owned by the same company, Turner, that employs Sir Charles.
“I challenge any black person to make that point. Cops are absolutely awesome. They’re the only thing in the ghetto (separating this place) from this place being the wild, wild west.”
On that count, I believe him.
In fact, just the other day, city councilmen in Newark praised the efforts of Mayor Ras Baraka in planning to open a new police precinct in the city’s Central Ward – a city in which eight people have been killed and at least eight others wounded in Newark since Thursday.
If there were that much mistrust between the police and the community, would Baraka have been so quick to announce the opening of another police precinct? Without it, Barkley's comments about the "wild west" would probably ring true.
Since then, Barkley’s toned down the rhetoric, but not his opinion on race and the decision not to indict a NYC patrolman who was involved in the death of Staten Island resident Eric Garner.
In a CNN interviewhe did recently with the network’s Brooke Baldwin, he said:
“I don’t think that was a homicide. I think the cops were trying to arrest him and they got a little aggressive,”
Barkley said of the July arrest that led to Garner’s death. “I think excessive force — something like that — but to go straight to murder?
“Brooke, when the cops are trying to arrest you, if you fight back, things go wrong. I don’t think they were trying to kill Mr. Garner. He was a big man and they were trying to get him down.”
As far as white police officers go, he’d be right in saying that, by and large, they’re not out to kill blacks – and despite the strong rhetoric, rioters are “scumbags.”
However regarding the Garner case, of which everyone has an opinion, to say “they got a little aggressive” is an understatement.
Yes, Officer Daniel Pantaleo, the police officer in the video taking down Garner in what's being described as an authorized "take down" hold, may not have intended to kill Garner, but the end result was still Garner’s death.
To say it was not a homicide is where we’d part company.
But as we say in the trade, everyone's got an opinion - yada yada yada!