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New Jersey Governor Chris Christie made headlines last year after his public dismissal of the Black Lives Matter movement while incorrectly lumping the group’s message as a call for violence against police officers. In a recent media event, Gov. Christie showed a bit of compassion for the movement after he was alarmingly asked how he’d keep the group from destroying cities from riots.

The New York Times reports:

Mr. Christie, who typically trumpets his law-and-order credentials as a former federal prosecutor to prove his toughness to voters, used unusually soft language and conveyed empathy as he dealt with a question about the Black Lives Matter movement from a student.

The matter came up at an event hosted by the New Hampshire Primary Student Convention, and the question itself was charged: How would a President Christie make sure that Black Lives Matter activists “stay peaceful” and not begin the sort of riots that “destroyed cities” in the 1960s?

And Mr. Christie was just as provocative in his answer: He began his answer in the same way that many liberal supporters of Black Lives Matter might have done, expressing skepticism with the premise of the question by noting that “circumstances today are certainly different than in the 1960s.” He noted that the riots of that era were due in part to “a completely racist enforcement of the law, especially in our southern states,” as well as the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Mr. Christie then expressed a sentiment shared by some Black Lives Matter activists: People don’t just need to be treated fairly – they need to feel that they will be treated fairly.

“Justice has to be more than a word, everybody, justice has to become a way of life in our country,” Mr. Christie said. “The attorney general, law enforcement officers and elected officials across the country have to be reminded that the perception of justice is almost important as justice itself,” he added. He went on to call for “a fair and even allocation of the law, and the perception that it’s being done that way as well.”

While Christie trails GOP front-runner Donald Trump in his state and in national polls, he still exuded confidence regarding his aims to become his party’s nominee in the 2016 presidential race at the event last Tuesday evening.

SOURCE: NYT | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty

SEE ALSO:

Chris Christie Issues Message To Black Lives Matter: Don’t Call Me For A Meeting

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