Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson recently made what some called an insensitive joke about police brutality.

Republican presidential candidate, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson speaks during a campaign stop at the University of New Hampshire, Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2015, in Durham, N.H. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)

Speaking of his childhood during a campaign stop at the University of New Hampshire on Sept. 30, the neurosurgeon spoke nostalgically of being chased by police, “back in the days before they would just shoot you.”

“Throwing rocks at cars, I really liked that,” Carson recalled, according to several news accounts. “Sometimes, the police would come, always in unmarked cars. And, they’d be chasing us across the field, and they would think they trapped us.”

At such times, Carson said, he would scale 10-foot-tall fences to get away.

“Now, that was back in the days before they would shoot you,” he said, laughing.

After a pause, he added, “I’m just kidding! You know they wouldn’t do that.”

According to NPR, the joke created a somewhat uneasy atmosphere within the audience of all-White voters, and Carson quickly changed course.

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

The latter statement seemed to be a dig at the Black Lives Matter movement, which has been increasingly vocal in their call for police reform and their criticism of police practices such as the use of force, which seems to be applied disproportionately to people of color.

Carson, the only African-American running for president among the Republican and Democratic fields, has called the movement “silly” and “divisive.” In an August USA Today op-ed piece he wrote that, “The notion that some lives might matter less than others is meant to enrage. That anger is distracting us from what matters most.”