Former NBA basketball player Charles Barkley got shouted down by a town hall audience after he defended law enforcement officers.
The Baltimore town hall, which was meant to last for an hour, had to be cut short after the audience began insulting Barkley for standing up for police officers and their families, reports Yellow Hammer News.
Barkley asked why people didn’t mourn when four police officers were shot throughout the country in a 24-hour period. A black man stands accused of killing white San Antonio Detective Benjamin Marconi.
“Did anybody say, ‘Man, I feel bad for their family?’” Barkley reportedly asked the audience. He had stopped in Baltimore to film part of his new documentary, “The Race Card.”
“There was no love [for police] in this room,” he added.
One mother stood up to tell Barkley that she didn’t like him or his position on police.
“I don’t know you, I don’t like you,” Diane Butler declared. Butler’s son, Tyrone West, reportedly died after being restrained by police officers.
“I’m sorry for your loss. As far as you not liking me, it really doesn’t bother me. I’m used to it. I’m like the homecoming queen. All the ugly girls hate you. That’s part of my life. I never take anything personally,” Barkley responded.
Another audience member called Barkley “arrogant.”
“What does your condolence mean to her?” an audience member said, pointing towards Butler. “How simple and arrogant are you?”
At that point, the audience began yelling insults at Barkley. His security had to rush him off the stage, bringing the town hall to an end.
This is not the first time Barkley has faced criticism for his posture against an “anti-police” sentiment. Earlier this year, Barkley was the subject of scorn from Black Lives Matter activists over his expressed support for men and women in uniform.
“We in the black community, we need the cops. Cops are important,” he said at the time. “They’re very significant. We as black people gotta do a better job of policing ourselves.”