Simeon Francis died while in police custody in May 2020.

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Vice President Mike Pence attends a roundtable meeting at the White House on June 15 in Washington. Saul Loeb / AFP / Getty Images

Vice President Mike Pence declined to say the words “Black Life Matters” during an interview with an ABC associate in Pennsylvania, instead saying “all lives matter.”

“Let me just say that what happened to George Floyd was a tragedy,” Pence told ABC6 in Philadelphia when asked if he would say black life was important. “And in this nation, especially on June 19, we celebrate the fact that since the founding of this nation we love the ideal that we all, all of us, create equal and endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights. And so all lives matter. in a very real sense. “

“Forgive me for pushing you, sir,” ABC6 reporter Brian Taff told Pence. But I will note that you did not say these words, “Black life matters” and there is an important distinction. People say, of course, that all lives matter, but to say the word is an acknowledgment that black lives also matter at a time in this country when there seems to be a part of our society that does not agree. So why not say those words? “

Pence replied: “Well, I do not accept the fact that there is a section of American society that disagrees with the value and importance of every human life. And that is one of the reasons why we are not going to stop there as we promote important reforms in law enforcement as we look for ways to strengthen and improve our inner cities. ”

Pence referred to the pre-pandemic of the Black Unemployment Rate and the development of economic “opportunities zones”, adding that the administration is “absolutely determined to improve” the lives of African Americans.

“And yet, one last time, you will not say the words and we understand your explanation,” Taff replied.

Pence was also asked a video posted on Twitter by President Donald Trump on Thursday called “manipulated media” by the social network.

“When you watch a lot of the national news outlets,” Pence replied, “they seem to be focusing more every day on what separates us in this country.” And I think the President saw an opportunity with a good sense of humor to challenge the media narrative once again. ”

Earlier, Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said during a White House briefing that Trump made a “satirical point that was quite funny” when he wrote the video.

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