Ben CarsonBenjamin (Ben) Solomon CarsonHUD chief Carson broke law with unauthorized purchases, GAO says Trump immigration rule could displace 55K children from public housing: HUD Harris, House Dems push for mandatory carbon monoxide detectors in public housing MORE told a joke about throwing rocks at passing cars and running away from police as a kid in Detroit, saying that was “back in the day before they would shoot you.”

“Everybody did it because it was so much fun,” Carson said at the University of New Hampshire on Wednesday. “Because you know those old people, they would sometimes get angry and they would stop the car and they would get out and they would chase you and we would run slowly to encourage them.

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“But you know, sometimes the police would come, always in unmarked cars,” he continued. “They’d be chasing us across the field and they would think they had trapped us. There were these fences that were about 10 feet tall. They had no idea how adept we were at getting over those fences.

“Now, that was back in the day before they would shoot you,” Carson said, laughing with the crowd. “I’m just kidding. You know they wouldn’t do that.”

The GOP presidential hopeful followed up the joke by talking about his respect for police officers.

“I really have a tremendous amount of respect for the police because they put their lives on the line every day for us, and they are the very last people that we should be targeting,” Carson said.

The retired neurosurgeon also condemned violence against cops stemming from growing tensions between police and minority communities.

Carson has repeatedly drawn fire for making comments perceived to be insensitive.

He recently remarked that a Muslim should not be president of the United States.