A shocking video shows Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-Texas) comparing police officers to those who implemented racist Jim Crow laws of the post-Civil War South.
'Shooting that person solely based on the color of their skin'
O'Rourke, who is challenging Republican Sen. Ted Cruz for a Texas Senate seat, was speaking to a HBCU town hall in Prairie View, Texas, when he made the stinging comments against the police.
"We're talking about criminal justice reform," O'Rourke said to the audience, "let's talk about where this problem started.
"When contractors needed labor," he explained, "they would talk to local law enforcement who would arrest African-Americans who were violent or petty crimes frivolous offenses. Those contractors would describe the number of bodies that they needed, and law enforcement would provide those bodies."
"And when they look at the remains," he claimed, "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 dint of the color of their skin in a system that was radically unjust," O'Rourke continued.
'The new Jim Crow'
"Following what we thought what was the end of that injustice at the end of the Civil War, that injustice," he added, "too many more people here than I know firsthand, continues to persist today.
"That system of suspecting somebody solely based on the color," he continued, "searching that person, solely based on the color 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, letting them rot behind bars, solely based on the color of their skin.
"It is why some have called this," he concluded, "I think it is an apt description, the new Jim Crow."
Here's the video of O'Rourke's shocking attack on police:
But, four days prior...
O'Rourke had a much more respectful tone on Saturday when he heaped praise on the work of law enforcement to protect American communities.
"My thoughts are with the family of Fort Worth police officer Garrett Hull who has died in the line of duty," O'Rourke tweeted.
My thoughts are with the family of Fort Worth police officer Garrett Hull who has died in the line of duty. And with all of those women and men who served alongside him, keeping our communities and our state safe. https://t.co/NJqJOt2BZw
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) September 15, 2018
"And with all of those women and men who served alongside him," O'Rourke added, "keeping our communities and our state safe."
Cruz had already criticized O'Rourke and Democrats for jumping too quickly to attack police, even before these new comments.
A recent poll showed Sen. Cruz to have a 9 percent lead on his liberal competitor, but Democrats are pinning their hopes on an online poll that shows O'Rourke in a more competitive position.