Clinton – the front runner for the Democratic nomination for president in 2016 – vowed to take executive action to “ban the box” at a rally in Atlanta at Clark Atlanta University, where she was met with the biggest protest yet by “Black Lives Matter” activists at one of her events.
Before being escorted out, about a dozen protesters interrupted Clinton’s speech, singing and chanting for at least ten minutes, according to reports. The singing also included the popular anthem by Janelle Monáe and Wondaland, “Hell You Talmbout,” which is dedicated to the BLM movement.
The “ban the box” reference involves removing questions about criminal convictions from job applications.
Clinton gave the protesters props and acknowledged their “Black Lives Matter” chants, saying “yes, they do,” but kept talking, although much of the audience couldn’t hear what she way saying over the noise.
The crowd eventually erupted, chanting: “Let her talk! Let her talk! Let her talk!” and the activists left the Clark University gymnasium.
NBC News reports that U.S. Rep. John Lewis, who introduced Clinton, tried to get the protesters to stop shouting and eventually re-joined Clinton on stage in a show of support.
According to TMZ, Usher was also responsible for getting the protesters to quiet down (see the video below).
Clinton continued with her speech and said she would, if elected, prevent the government and employers from discriminating against individuals who have served time in prison.
Later, Clinton said of the protesters:
“I’m sorry they didn’t listen, because some of what they’ve been demanding, I am offering.”
Banning the box would help job applicants with a criminal record get through further stages of the job application process, Clinton argued at the campaign’s first “African Americans for Hillary” event.
Several major retailers have already done so, including Target, Walmart, Starbucks, Bed Bath & Beyond and Home Depot.
This is one part of Clinton’s plan to reform the criminal justice system, which the campaign will roll out over the next few days. Clinton is also calling for an end to racial profiling by federal, state and local law enforcement and for the sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine to be eliminated.
Get MORE of this story at NBC News.