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Beto O’Rourke slams police officers as 'the new Jim Crow'

While attending a town hall at Prairie View A&M University in Texas, Beto O’Rourke railed against law enforcement in America referring to it as, “the new Jim Crow.”


O'Rourke, who is running against Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) for his Senate seat, was at Prairie View A&M University discussing America's problematic past.

“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.”

This was allegedly how the creation of chain gangs came about, as forced labor was an easier way to guard prisoners and significantly decreased the cost. However, this system was extremely cruel, and many in the chain gangs were mistreated and worked to death.

“And when they look at the remains in that graveyard, they see evidence of muscles literally torn from the bone, people being worked to death in these convict chain gangs, people who became convicts solely by tint of the color of their skin, in a system that was radically unjust, following what we thought was the end of that injustice at the end of the Civil War,” O'Rourke said.

However, O'Rourke believes that law enforcement still has the same opinion but uses a more subtle approach:

“That injustice, to many more people here than I know firsthand, continues to persist today. That system of suspecting 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.”

While there are incidents of police brutality, violence against police officers has also increased, with 39 being killed by gunfire so far this year, which has surpassed the 2017 total.

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