First on CNN: O'Malley to meet with black leaders in South Carolina next week

O'Malley apologizes for offense
O'Malley apologizes for offense

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  • O'Malley came under fire earlier this month when he told African-Americans protesting police brutality that "All lives matter"
  • This will mark the former Maryland governor's first official campaign appearance in South Carolina

Columbia, South Carolina (CNN)Martin O'Malley will head to South Carolina early next week after being invited by the black leadership group 20/20 Leaders of America, the O'Malley campaign confirmed to CNN on Monday.

Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin, who is the city's first black mayor, and councilman Brian Newman will host the presidential candidate next Tuesday morning for a "listening session," the first in a series of events the group will host in South Carolina during the primary cycle, according to an invitation obtained by CNN.
    O'Malley came under fire earlier this month when he told African-Americans protesting police brutality that "all lives matter" in response to the group's chant that "black lives matter."
    He booed by the demonstrators at the Netroots Nation event, a gathering of liberal activists in Phoenix. He quickly apologized later that day.
    "I meant no disrespect," O'Malley said in an interview on This Week in Blackness, a digital show. "That was a mistake on my part and I meant no disrespect. I did not mean to be insensitive in any way or communicate that I did not understand the tremendous passion, commitment and feeling and depth of feeling that all of us should be attaching to this issue."
    This will mark the former Maryland governor's first official campaign appearance in South Carolina since he announced his presidential bid in May. He briefly paid his respects during a funeral for state Sen. Clementa Pinckney at the South Carolina statehouse in June following his death in the racially-motivated church shooting in Charleston that month.
    Since officially joining the race, the former governor has focused the bulk of his campaigning efforts in Iowa.