Red-faced Bill Clinton yells at Black Lives Matter protesters

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An agitated and red-faced Bill Clinton defended his record and his wife’s past statements when Black Lives Matter protesters interrupted a campaign event in Philadelphia on April 7.

The protesters confronted the former president, saying the 1994 criminal justice reform bill he signed into law ended up hurting African-Americans.

Bill Clinton gets testy with Black Lives Matter protesters at an April 7 campaign event.
Bill Clinton gets testy with Black Lives Matter protesters at an April 7 campaign event.

Clinton insisted that the bill helped crack down on gangs who were killing African-American children.

“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.

A protester yelled back that “black youth are not super predators” – a reference to a statement Hillary Clinton made as first lady.

“I don’t know how you would characterize the gang leaders who got 13-year-old kids hopped up on crack and sent them out onto the streets to murder other African-American children, maybe you thought they were good citizens,” Clinton said. “She didn’t.”

“You are defending the people who killed the lives you say matter. Tell the truth. You are defending the people who cause young people to go out and take guns.”

Clinton also addressed claims by the protesters that the 1996 welfare reform bill he signed into law increased poverty among African-Americans.

“They say the welfare reform bill increased poverty then why did we have the largest drop in African-American poverty in history when I was president?” he asked.

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