- The Washington Times - Monday, December 1, 2014

Former NBA star Charles Barkley said during a recent radio interview that “we would be living in the wild, Wild West” if it weren’t for police officers and that there is no excuse for “scumbags” to be torching police vehicles in Ferguson, Missouri.

“I can’t believe anything I hear on television anymore,” he said on 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia on Tuesday, the day after a grand jury decided not to indict the Ferguson police officer who shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown. Mr. Barkley said he agreed with the grand jury’s decision, Christian Science Monitor reported.

“And, that’s why I don’t like talking about race issues with the media anymore, because they love this stuff, and lead people to jump to conclusions. The media shouldn’t do that. They never do that when black people kill each other,” he said.

Labeling Ferguson looters and vandals “scumbags,” Mr. Barkley argued that “there is no excuse for people to be out there burning down people’s businesses, burning down police cars.”

His views are strikingly different from black civil rights leaders like the Revs. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, who have both criticized the Ferguson decision and alleged racial profiling by police.

“[W]e have to be really careful with the cops, because if it wasn’t for the cops we would be living in the wild, Wild West in our neighborhoods,” he said, Christian Science Monitor reported. “We can’t pick out certain incidentals that don’t go our way and act like the cops are all bad. … Do you know how bad some of these neighborhoods would be if it wasn’t for the cops?”

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