Bill Clinton Says Black Lives Matter Activists Are Defending Murderers


Stumping for Hillary Clinton in Philadelphia on Thursday, former President Bill Clinton told protesters that activists within the Black Lives Matter movement are "defending the people who killed the lives you say matter." (The protesters have since said they are not members of the Black Lives Matter organization, though they support the national movement.)

"This is what's the matter," Clinton said, as hecklers interrupted his speech. "I don't know how you would characterize the gang leaders who got 13-year-old kids hopped up on crack and sent 'em out onto the street to murder other African-American children. Maybe you thought they were good citizens. She didn't."

"Tell the truth," the 42nd president continued. "You are defending the people who caused young people to go out and take guns."

Clinton's remarks begin around 4:15 in the video:

Both the former president and his wife have come under fire from Black Lives Matter activists for their support for tough-on-crime policies during the 1990s. Hillary Clinton has signaled a shift away from that approach, devoting the first policy speech of her 2016 campaign to decrying mass incarceration and championing criminal justice reform.

April 8, 2016, 6:46 p.m. Eastern: This story has been updated.