Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Urges Police, Black Community to Engage in ‘Conversation’

"We need to get that conversation going again."

“It’s a frightening thing to see the breakdown start to occur like that because without the police, we don’t have a civil society," Abdul-Jabbar told ABC News’ White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl in Philadelphia. "We have chaos, and we need police absolutely. They are really heroes. We ask too much of them, and they try to do it with a smile.”

“People make assumptions about people of color, and people of color make assumptions about the law enforcement apparatus, and neither one of them are correct,” he said.

Abdul-Jabbar grew up in a family of police officers. His father worked as a transit cop in New York City, and his grandfather also served as a police officer.

“My dad would’ve been upset that so many black people are being killed unnecessarily,” he said.

“He had a toy gun," Abdul-Jabbar said. "He was playing on Christmas Day, my goodness, and the officer didn’t even wait two seconds before he shot him,” he said.

"He has no solutions,” Abdul-Jabbar continued. “He just says he’s the solution, He’s going to solve all our problems through his brilliant understanding of all the issues. Nobody is that smart. Nobody.”