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Ted Cruz

During a campaign stop in Kalona, Iowa Wednesday, presidential hopeful and Republican Sen. Ted Cruz told Think Progress that the Black Lives Matter movement “literally” embraces and celebrates the murder of police officers.

Both blaming President Obama and the Attorney General for the “vilification” of law enforcement, Cruz insisted that the growth of the movement paired with support from allies who speak out against police violence has placed police officers in the line of fire.

“If you look at the Black Lives Matter movement, one of the most disturbing things is more than one of their protests have embraced rabid rhetoric, rabid anti-police language, literally suggesting and embracing and celebrating the murder of police officers,” the Texas senator told Think Progress. “That is disgraceful.”

When asked if he would meet with activists in the Black Lives Matter network, Cruz told Think Progress he’d be willing to meet with anyone, before launching into the familiar Republican rhetoric that falsely aligns spikes in violence across the nation to the movement.

From Think Progress:

To illustrate his point, Cruz echoed popular conservative rhetoric, saying that crime rates have spiked across the country because police officers are afraid of protesters. The month of July was especially bloody in Baltimore with the murders of 50 people, including 45 African-Americans, because “murderers and rapists” were encouraged by the lack of law enforcement, he said.

“If you want to talk about Black Lives Matter, that’s 45 dead black lives,” he continued. “Because of the rise in crime, it was the bloodiest month since the 1960s in Baltimore…The best way to protect black lives is to keep them safe from murderers and criminals who would prey on them.”

But, as the site points out, the accusation that Black people organizing and demonstrating to end state violence in their communities has ushered in a large wave of violence is simply untrue. As is the idea that acknowledging that police have historically (and currently) brutalize communities of color with impunity is putting police officers in danger.

Despite the recent and unfortunate shooting of Deputy Darren Goforth at a Houston, Texas gas station, the number of officers killed on the job has been on a steady decline for years. In comparison, 1,107 people were killed by police last year, Think Progress reports.

Cruz isn’t the only person in recent days to suggest the mere presence of Black Lives Matter is threatening to police officers. After a Providence police officer received a cup of coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts with the phrase #BlackLivesMatter written on the side, Lt. Roger Aspinall, speaking for the Providence Fraternal Order of Police, told Fox News that the words promote violence against law enforcement.

You can listen to Cruz’s remarks below:

SOURCE: Think Progress | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty

SEE ALSO:

Black Teen Detained By Police Officers For Making Customer “Uncomfortable” At D.C. Bank

Dr. Ben Chavis On Fatal Police Shootings: A Systemic Problem Requires A Systemic Solution

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