Texas Democratic candidate for Senate Beto O’Rourke has been transforming the state’s political landscape with his progressive platform and Texans’ embrace of it.
While speaking to a crowd at Good Street Baptist Church in Dallas, O’Rourke spoke out passionately against the murder of Botham Jean, the young African American man who was killed in his own apartment when a white police officer mistook his apartment for her own.
Off-duty police officer Amber Guyger shot Jean in his own home, supposedly mistaking him for a burglar. Guyger remains on paid administrative leave despite facing charges for manslaughter. In a move that angered many Texans, a search warrant was granted for Jean’s apartment (rather than Guyger’s) where authorities found a small amount of marijuana in his kitchen.
O’Rourke said about the shooting:
“How can it be, in this day and age, in this very year, in this community, that a young man, African-American, in his own apartment, is shot and killed by a police officer and when we all want justice and the facts and the information to make an informed decision, what’s released to the public? That he had a small amount of marijuana in his kitchen. How can that be just in this country? How can we continue to lose the lives of unarmed Black men in the United State of America at the hands of white police officers?”
The crowd immediately rose to its feet in a standing ovation, hailing O’Rourke’s testament, with many appearing to be in tears.
You can watch it for yourself below:
‘How can we continue to lose the lives of unarmed Black men in the United State of America at the hands of white police officers?’ — @BetoORourke speaking out on Botham Jean pic.twitter.com/hte5idsTrM
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) September 17, 2018
But it wasn’t just those lucky enough to witness the rousing speech who were lauding O’Rourke’s unambiguous stance. Twitter immediately began praising the candidate.
Beto O’Rourke continues to remind everyone why we kneel speaking about the unjust murder of Botham Jean.
To the beautiful people of Texas, please make him a reality. We need leaders like him! This country needs him!
Retweet This Widely!
— StanceGrounded (@_SJPeace_) September 17, 2018
— Leah Greenberg (@Leahgreenb) September 18, 2018
— Jayson (@jaybizball) September 18, 2018
Some compared his charisma and courage to that of other legendary politicians.
Who else thinks Beto reminds them of the late Bobby Kennedy? We need to put honor before money and make our country the best country in the world. #BetoForTexas #ILoveWillieNelson We are better united than divided.
— JJ (@JuicyJesssy) September 17, 2018
@BetoORourke reminds me of @BarackObama. It's his intelligence and the way he speaks with that confidence and conviction that's undeniable. Thank goodness there are still people in this country like these two. #VoteBlue #Resist #BothamJean
— Victor Richardson (@VRDiplomat) September 18, 2018
Meanwhile, the statement on Botham Jean from O’Rourke’s opponent Ted Cruz stands in diametric opposition.