Charles Barkley Says Defunding The Police Would Hurt Black Community

( One prominent and well-known former black athlete doesn’t believe that the calls to “defund the police” are a good idea.

Charles Barkley, a Hall of Famer in the NBA, said recently that defunding police departments around the country would have a negative effect on black people, disproportionately affecting all communities of color. Instead, Barkley suggested that the better approach would be to “weed out the bad cops.”

On Monday, Barkley appeared on an ESPN morning show called “Get Up,” saying that, “we just need police reform, because we need police.” He continued:

“We need to weed out the bad cops — you know I hear these guys getting on television, these politicians talking about ‘defunding the police department.’ First of all, that would have a negative effect on the black communities — who the black people gonna call, Ghostbusters? Because they’re not gonna defund the police in the good white neighborhoods. So, we need police reform.”

Barkley has been one of the most prominent minority voices against defunding police departments, ever since the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer sparked the rallying cry. His appearance on the ESPN show wasn’t the only time he made his thoughts known. On CNN last week, eh said:

“We need the cops. Most of the cops do a fantastic job, but instead of defunding and all this other stuff, let’s just do police reform. Everybody should be on board for that whether you’re a Democrat, Republican, conservative or liberal.”

The call to defund the police has been led in Washington by progressive liberals such as Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar, who after the Minneapolis City Council voted to dissolve their police department last week, said:

“You can’t really reform a department that is rotten to the root.”

Across the country, other major cities are following the steps that Minneapolis has taken. On Monday, the New York City Police Department announced it was doing away with their anti-crime unit. That unit was made up of 600 officers whose job it was to thwart crime while in plainclothes.

In Boston, Mayor Marty Walsh said he would take 20% of the police department’s budget for overtime and divert it to other city programs. That amount will total roughly $12 million cut from the PD’s budget.

Los Angeles announced a budget cut of more than $100 million from the LAPD, which city officials said they would “reinvest” into communities of color. As Mayor Eric Garcetti said:

“We all have to be part of this solution together. We all have to step up and say, ‘What can we sacrifice?'”

In recent weeks, the New York City and Los Angeles have both experienced spikes in their murder rates.

Two prominent Democrats have also shut down calls to defund police departments. Both presumptive presidential nominee Joe Biden and his former top challenger, Bernie Sanders, have proposed increasing funding for other departments, but not at the expense of the much-needed police department.