Bill Clinton got into a verbal altercation with a few Black Lives Matter protesters in Philadelphia on Thursday. As he defended his wife’s presidential bid, protesters shouted that “Black youth are not super predators.”
The protesters that shouted the phrase took issue with words then-first lady Hillary Clinton used in a speech about violent crime committed by young people in 1996. They also heckled Clinton for the 1994 crime bill he signed into law during his presidency that cracked down on gangs, but also place more non-violent offenders behind bars for longer stays.
“You are defending the people who killed the lives you say matter,” the former president told protesters, according to CNN.
During the heated 15-minute exchange, Clinton said that tougher criminal penalties were added on the advice of then-Sen. Joe Biden, who told Clinton they were necessary to get Republicans on board with the bill. The bill also included an assault weapons ban, more money for police departments and funding for out-of-school activities for inner city youth.
“I talked to a lot of African-American groups. They thought Black lives mattered; they said take this bill because our kids are being shot in the street by gangs. We had 13-year-old kids planning their own funerals,” Clinton said.