Hillary Clinton was temporarily drowned out by a group of Black Lives Matter protesters Friday as she was giving a speech calling for criminal justice system reforms to end racial profiling.
Clinton was speaking to a rally of more than 2,000 people in Georgia when just under a dozen protesters yelled and sang “Black lives matter!” for close to 15 minutes, until the Democratic front-runner became almost inaudible.
“Yes, black lives do matter,” Clinton said in an apparent attempt to appease the protesters, adding she had been meeting with representatives of the movement.
The crowd initially tried to shut down the protesters by chanting “Hillary! Hillary!” but were more successful when they directly addressed the protesters and shouted “Let her talk!” The protesters eventually left the room, and Clinton continued with her remarks, calling for drug sentencing reform.
Clinton promised to ban racial profiling among law enforcement, and reform crack and powder cocaine sentencing laws. “We’re talking about two forms of the same drug,” she said. “It makes no sense to treat them differently.”
Black Americans make up 80 percent of crack cocaine users, where powder cocaine users are typically white. The sentencing ratio of crack to powder is 18:1.
Clinton also promised to ban federal employers from asking about the criminal background of job applicants in their initial interviewing stages. “People who have paid their dues to society need to be able to find jobs,” she said.
In a 15-minute August meeting with Clinton, Black Live Matter activists accused her of “victim blaming.” She and her husband were “more responsible than most” for mass incarceration in the U.S., activist Julius Jones told Clinton in the meeting.
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