In a new interview with CNN, former NBA all-star Charles Barkley pushed back after reporter Brooke Baldwin alleged the officer-involved death of Eric Garner in New York was a “homicide.” A grand jury has yet to issue a decision in the controversial police chokehold that resulted in Garner’s death earlier this year.
“I don’t think that was a homicide,” Barkley replied.
“What was that? It was a chokehold, you see it,” Baldwin shot back.
“I think that cops were trying to arrest him and they got a little aggressive,” Barkley said. “I think excessive force, you know, something like that. But to go right to murder — Brooke, when the cops are trying to arrest you, if you fight back, things go wrong.”
He also said he doesn’t believe the cops were trying to kill Garner, but he was a “big” man and they were trying to get him to the ground.
“Homicide” is defined as the “killing of one human being by another,” and can include noncriminal killings. Barkley appeared to be arguing that the killing didn’t amount to murder.
Watch the interview via CNN below (portion about Garner case starts at around 3:30):