Fact Checkers Nitpick Cruz Calling Out O'Rourke Smearing Cops

September 24th, 2018 1:03 PM

In the aftermath of Friday's debate between Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz and Democratic challenger Beto O'Rourke, fact checkers at both NBCNews.com and the Dallas Morning News nitpicked one of Cruz's criticisms of the Texas Democrat, as they struggled to find fault with him calling out O'Rourke smearing police officers as implementing a "modern-day Jim Crow" system.

A Dallas Morning News article flat-out stated that "O'Rourke did not call police officers the 'modern-day Jim Crow,' as Cruz claimed."

The article then recalled that Cruz was basing his comments on an appearance O'Rourke made a couple of days earlier at Prairie View A&M University. The piece displayed a video clip and text of the relevant comments from the Texas Democrat which allegedly were supposed to prove that Cruz was wrong. Here's O'Rourke:

That system of suspecting somebody, solely based on the color of their skin; searching that person based solely on the color of their skin; shooting that person based solely 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 -- it is why some have called this -- I think it is an apt description -- the new Jim Crow.

Nearly all the actions he listed are those that are carried out by police officers, so whether he was calling the cops themselves "the new Jim Crow," or whether he was saying that cops employ a "Jim Crow" methodology in doing their work makes little difference in the substance of what he was claiming -- that both police officers and the court system engage in widespread discrimination against minorities.

NBCNews.com similarly displayed the quote and claimed that Cruz "significantly overstates the tie" between police officers and Jim Crow.

We have rated these "fact checks" by NBC.com and Dallas Morning News as Deeply Distorted. For similar analyses, please visit our Fact-Checking the Fact-Checkers site.