Texas Democratic Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke said at a Wednesday speech that he believes law enforcement is the “new Jim Crow.”
O’Rourke, who is challenging Republican incumbent Ted Cruz, spoke at a town hall at Prairie View A&M University in Texas on Wednesday.
O’Rourke alleged that police officers arrest and kill black people solely for the color of their skin and use certain profiling tactics in order to unfairly punish black people.
“Talking about criminal justice reform, let’s talk about where this problem started,” O’Rourke said. “When contractors needed labor, they would talk to local law enforcement, who would arrest African-Americans for idling, for petty crimes, frivolous offenses. Those contractors would describe the number of bodies that they needed and law enforcement would provide those bodies.”
“That injustice … continues to persist today. That system of suspending somebody solely based on the color of their skin, searching that person solely based on the color of their skin, stopping that person solely based on the color of their skin, shooting that person solely based on the color of their skin, throwing the book at that person and letting them rot behind bars solely based on the color of their skin is why some have called this — I think it is an apt description — the new Jim Crow,” he said.