U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz calls George Floyd case "clearly police brutality"



Chris Hayes interviews U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz at The Texas Tribune Festival on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019. Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz this weekend said the death of George Floyd, a Minneapolis black man, is "clearly police brutality."

"It's horrific, and it starts with a horrific act of police brutality," the state's junior GOP senator said on Fox News on Sunday evening. "You know, anytime you have a police officer-involved shooting, the media oftentimes goes into a frenzy. And there is an immediate demonization and attack of the police officers, and I think that's wrong, and I think it's premature."

"That being said, in this instance, we have a video of the incident, and we can see with Mr. Floyd, the officer with his knee on his neck for eight minutes," he continued. "Mr. Floyd has handcuffs. He's clearly incapacitated. He's begging for his life, and what we saw was wrong."

On Monday, Cruz reiterated his comments on Twitter.

"There is no legitimate law enforcement purpose for what we saw in #GeorgeFloyd’s case," he wrote. "It was clearly police brutality and it was not conduct we expect of any officer. Now, the criminal justice system must hold these officers accountable for their actions."

In the Fox interview, however, Cruz expressed disapproval of what he described as "this violence and this rioting" by some protesters over the weekend.

"You have a lot of demagogue that want to use this incident of clear abuse by one police officer, and they want to use it to paint every police officer as corrupt and racist," he said.

"And most police officers heroically risk their lives to protect the communities they're in, often minority communities," he added. "And for everyone that is stirring up racial division and engaging in violence and looting, that is completely unacceptable."