A comment made in support of the 1994 Violent Crime Control Act by Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton 20 years ago is haunting her campaigns even today. Her husband and former President Bill Clinton defended his wife and the bill during a campaign event in Philadelphia on Thursday.

The bill, passed during Clinton’s presidency and considered responsible for the mass detention of the black people, affected Hillary’s campaign for the presidential bid to a substantial extent. The controversial remark, which referred to the black juvenile offenders as “super predators,” repeatedly came up during her presidential campaigns.

When an activist confronted Hillary Clinton on the issue at a fundraiser she apologised, saying she shouldn’t have used those words.

In Philadelphia, while speaking at a campaign event for his wife, Bill Clinton defended the reforms and his wife as the Black Lives Matter protesters heckled him mid-speech.

“I don’t know how you would characterise the gang leaders who got 13-year-old kids hopped up on crack and sent them out onto the street to murder other African-American children,” Yahoo News quoted him as saying. “Maybe you thought they were good citizens; she didn’t. You are defending the people who killed the lives you say matter.”

He stood strong by his decision amid interruptions and insisted that he spoke to African-American groups to whom black lives mattered. He said that they gave their consent to the bill, despite the addition of the harsher sentencing provisions because their kids were being shot in the streets by gangs.

“Because of that bill, we had a 25-year low in crime, a 33-year low in the murder rate, and — listen to this — because of that and the background-check law, we had a 46-year low in the deaths of people by gun violence,” he added.

Hillary Clinton announced that she would end the mass incarceration of black people in her first major campaign speech last year. This helped her win the support of the black people, which often resulted in landslide victories for her, the Reuters reported.