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Republican presidential hopeful Ben Carson, who likes to note how staying out of trouble helped put him on the path to becoming a pediatric neurosurgeon, told a different story Wednesday to a New Hampshire audience.

He used to taunt police growing up as a child in Detroit, Michigan by throwing rocks at passing cars, MSNBC reports. That was before police would shoot you, he said.

Carson, who is second behind Donald Trump in polls of voters in early states, produced laughs from the audience at the University of New Hampshire in Exeter, but drew “widespread criticism” on social media, the report notes. He back-peddled quickly on his comments before ending the speech.


When cops came, “always in unmarked cars, they’d be chasing us across the field and they would think they trapped us” at 10-feet-tall fences, Carson said.

But the cops “had no idea how adept we were at getting over those fences,” Carson joked with a smile, describing how he and his friends would leap over the fences in a single bound “and laugh at them because they couldn’t do that.”

“That was back in the day before they would shoot you,” Carson added, pausing for a beat before chuckling heartily and adding, “I’m just kidding, you know they wouldn’t do that.”

Instead of condemning today’s youth who clash with police, Carson should be saying, “There but for the grace of God go I,” because life is a game of inches. Had he been caught by police during one of those rock-throwing episodes, today his life could be dramatically different.



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Ben Carson Jokes About Growing Up & Throwing Rocks Before Cops “Would Shoot You”  was originally published on