The Big Fella, Shaquille O’Neal said he wants to run for sheriff in a Georgia county.
Appearing on an episode of “The Dr. Oz Show” O’Neal told Dr. Mehmet Oz that he wants to run in Henry County “to bring law enforcement and the community closer together.”
When talking about community relations as it pertains to law enforcement, O’Neal said, “Right now, we’re miles apart.”
Shaquille O’Neal, getting ready for his next gig as “Sheriff SHAQ”.
Shaquille O’Neal: I went to the regular academy. I got Maced, had to go through the gas house, got shot with the Taser twice. I did everything they did. So they know that I am serious and I will be sheriff somewhere in some city in some county.
I have full powers of arrest and, you know, when I am at work, I do police officer duties. Right now I am working in Internet crimes against children. I work in a special victims’ unit. I teach children how not to be captured by this guy.
O’Neal said he had always wanted to run for sheriff in Florida, where he has a home (in Orlando), but because of the new deal, “I don’t think I could be sheriff in Florida and work in Atlanta. So I bought a house in Atlanta, and I’m going to be in Atlanta full time, so it’s like, let me try here first, and maybe when it’s all said and done, I could go back and be the sheriff in Florida.”
“The gap between law enforcement and communities is too spread out. When I was coming up, police were real respected. I don’t know how it’s gotten so far apart, but I know in the community that I live in, I know that I could change some of that,” said O’Neal, who was at the casino for a charity free throw shooting competition against owner David Cordish. “I’d just have to do it piece by piece and piece by piece, the way I do business, and the way I won championships, I’m very confident that I can run a successful operation.”
Part of O’Neal’s plan, he said, is to have 30 and 40-year veterans at his side, “to ensure that we do things to the highest quality as possible.”
O’Neal again added: “It’s just a disconnect between people and police that I haven’t seen in a long time.”
He said he has a plan for how to close the gap between police and citizens.
“The plan is to really preach accountability, to really preach respect and really teach to treat people as human beings,” O’Neal said. “There’s a lot of stuff going on, I don’t want to comment on what’s going on, but not on my watch. Like for example. You can’t tase an old lady. For example, you can’t put a 6-year-old in handcuffs. Can’t do it. Not going to do it.”
O’Neal has long expressed interest in law enforcement. He has been a deputy marshal in Lafayette, La. and a reserve police officer in Florida. And in December 2016, O’Neal was sworn in as a sheriff’s deputy in Clayton County, Ga. O’Neal also noted that growing up, two of his uncles were police officers.
“And they were well-respected in the neighborhood and the disconnect has gotten to be out of control and I want to be one of the guys that closes it,” O’Neal said.