Democratic Indiana state senator calls on GOP colleague to step down over resurfaced comments on Black Lives Matter

Democratic Indiana state senator calls on GOP colleague to step down over resurfaced comments on Black Lives Matter
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Republican Indiana state Sen. Aaron Freeman is facing calls to resign from one of his Democratic colleagues after a 3-year-old video surfaced of negative comments he made about the Black Lives Matter movement.

At the 2016 Republican National Convention, Freeman told a correspondent of the show “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” that he didn’t support the movement, which at the time was speaking out on the police killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. 

“You know, this Black Lives Matter movement, I just don’t think it’s helpful to the country," he said at the time. "...I don't know what their purpose is.”

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Freeman went on to say that the chances of getting killed by police are “nonexistent” if you respect law enforcement. 

"I was a prosecutor who brought cases before a grand jury for police action shootings,” Freeman said. “Your chances of being shot by police are nonexistent if you respect authority, if you don’t pull a gun on them, if you don’t run from them, if you cooperate with law enforcement. Put your hand on the steering wheel and play along with what they ask you to do."

State Sen. Eddie Melton, a Democratic member of the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus, is asking Freeman to drop from his reelection bid

“Setting his callous dismissal of black lives aside for the moment, you have to ask — why is someone like this in the state legislature to begin with, if he is not willing to listen, learn, and work in a bi-partisan manner so that all Hoosiers can succeed?” Melton said in a Facebook post.

In a statement to IndyStar, Freeman said Melton’s calls for him to step down are “nothing more than a politically motivated stunt.”

Freeman’s Democratic challenger Belinda Drake told IndyStar that she would run a “positive,” issue-based campaign and did not comment on whether or not she wanted Freeman to drop from the race.