Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) on Wednesday blasted Sen. Ted CruzTed CruzCruz: 'Schumer and the Democrats want a shutdown' Kansas Republican sworn in after special election Overnight Finance: Dems want ObamaCare subsidies for extra military spending | Trade battle: Woe, Canada? | Congress nears deal to help miners | WH preps to release tax plan MORE (R-Texas) for suggesting police target surveillance on America’s Muslim communities.
“It’s bad policing,” he told host Chris Hayes on MSNBC’s “All In." "It doesn’t help us get safer. It does undermine the rights of U.S. citizens and residents.
Ellison, who practices Islam, said his experiences living in Minnesota’s Muslim neighborhoods disprove Cruz’s suggestion they may hide future jihadists.
“I’m from Minnesota [and] I’m a few blocks away from where he might be talking about in terms of Muslim neighborhoods,” he said of Cruz, a GOP presidential candidate.
“I can tell you, this neighborhood is full of excellent, hard-working and patriotic people who love this country and make it better all the time. I’m offended for them, I’m offended with them.”
Ellison additionally accused Cruz and Republican presidential front-runner Donald TrumpDonald TrumpFormer State Department adviser announces run for Maryland governor Rob Thomas: Anti-Trump celebs have become 'white noise' Carl Bernstein: Flynn is ‘central to what FBI believes is cover-up’ MORE of using Tuesday’s terrorist attacks in Brussels for scoring political points.
“I am so broken-hearted for the people of Brussels,” said Ellison, who has endorsed Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersObama plants himself on the wrong side of French elections Trump must take action in Macedonia to fix damage done by Obama and Clinton Trump said he would create ‘more jobs and better wages’ — he can start with federal contractors MORE (I-Vt.) in his Democratic presidential bid. "My sympathies go out to them. It is incredibly sad that their tragedy ends up being a political football in the United States.
“People like Ted Cruz and Donald Trump try to exploit this for electoral gains. The fact is that what both Ted Cruz and Donald Trump have said is reprehensible, unconstitutional, counterproductive, wrong and bad policing, as [New York Police Department Commissioner] Bill Bratton has made clear.”
At least 31 died and more than 200 others were wounded during a string of coordinated attacks across Brussels early Tuesday morning.
The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria has claimed responsibility, reigniting a national debate on the relationship between law enforcement and Muslim Americans.
Cruz called for police surveillance of Muslim American neighborhoods after the attacks, and Trump reiterated his past calls for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the U.S.