Shaq officially announces 2020 Ga. county sheriff run

Shaq said the decision to run for sheriff came after he saw the divide between police and communities grow larger

By Police1 Staff

HANOVER, Md. — There’s officially a new candidate in the running for Henry County, Georgia sheriff: Shaquille O’Neal.

The former NBA star teased a run back in May, but hadn’t decided on where to run for sheriff. 

According to the Washington Post, O’Neal said he always wanted to run for sheriff near Orlando, where he has a home, but changed his mind because of a new TV deal he recently signed in Atlanta.

“I don’t think I could be sheriff in Florida and work in Atlanta,” he said. “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.”

O’Neal said he wants to bring communities and police closer together, as the divide between the two has grown larger over the past couple of years.

“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,” O’Neal said. “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.”

O’Neal told the Post that he plans to recruit 30- and 40-year veterans for his force, and he’ll preach accountability, respect and “really teach to treat people as human beings.”

“There’s a lot of stuff going on, I don’t want to comment on what’s going on, but not on my watch,” he said. “You can’t TASER an old lady. For example, you can’t put a 6-year-old in handcuffs. Can’t do it. Not going to do it.”

Shaq has a long history in law enforcement. He has been sworn in as a reserve officer in Florida, a deputy in Georgia and a deputy sheriff in Ohio. In January, he met up with Sheriff Victor Hill to test out a Hellcat patrol car. 


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