Former President Bill Clinton took on Black Lives Matter protesters at a rally in Philadelphia on Thursday, saying, “You’re defending the people who killed the lives you say matter.”
The protesters interrupted his speech on behalf of his wife, Hillary Clinton, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination. Some were positioned closed to the stage holding signs reading, “Clinton Crime Bill Destroyed Our Communities,” and “Hillary is a Murderer.”
The protests stem from Bill Clinton’s support as president of tough anti-crime measures, including the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, which many on the left now say caused mass incarceration rates among blacks.
Clinton fired back from his podium on Thursday.
“I don’t know how you would characterize the gang leaders who got 13-year-old kids hopped up on crack and sent them down to the street to murder other African American children,” he said. “Maybe you thought they were good citizens – she didn’t. She didn’t!
“You’re defending the people who killed the lives you say matter,” he added. “Tell the truth.”
Twitter lit up with responses:
— Linda Sarsour (@lsarsour) April 7, 2016
Hearing his comments today after #BlackLivesMatter protested Bill Clinton’s speech, wonder why ANY African-Americans support the Clintons…
— Mike Luoma (@MikeLuoma) April 7, 2016
— Leslie Wimes (@WomenOnTheMove1) April 7, 2016
— Michael Oman-Reagan (@OmanReagan) April 7, 2016