Two Louisiana Police Officers Fired Over Facebook Post Suggesting Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Should Be Shot
Two police officers in Louisiana were dismissed Monday after one wrote a Facebook post appearing to threaten freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) with violence and the other “liked” the post.
Last week, Officer Charles Rispoli wrote that the self-described Democratic socialist young congresswoman is a “vile idiot” and seemed to threaten to shoot her by adding Ocasio-Cortez “needs a round … and I don’t mean the kind she used to serve.” The second half of the post appears to allude to Ocasio-Cortez’s former job as a bartender.
Gretna Police Chief Arthur Lawson told the press that Rispoli had been fired alongside Officer Angelo Varisco, who “liked” the post.
“This incident, we feel, has been an embarrassment to our department,” Lawson said.
The apparent threat against Ocasio-Cortez is the latest in a series of similar verbal attacks made against first-term, progressive Democratic lawmakers, especially women of color. Earlier this month, the Bronx-born Democrat became one of four targets of President Donald Trump, who told Ocasio-Cortez and three of her female minority colleagues to “go back” to their “crime-infested” countries in a tweet many people have described as racist.
Ocasio-Cortez compared the two attacks on her in a response on Twitter on Monday, calling the type of rhetoric Trump propagates “authoritarian behavior.”
“The President is sowing violence. He’s creating an environment where people can get hurt & he claims plausible deniability,” she added.
This is Trump’s goal when he uses targeted language & threatens elected officials who don’t agree w/ his political agenda. It’s authoritarian behavior.
The President is sowing violence. He’s creating an environment where people can get hurt & he claims plausible deniability. https://t.co/GuYKPGzSLm
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) July 22, 2019
Rispoli reportedly posted the threat against Ocasio-Cortez after reading a parody article that claimed she said, “We pay soldiers too much.” The congresswoman never said anything like this, in fact. It is unknown whether or not Rispoli knew the article was fake.
Earlier this month, Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund revealed the growing number of cases involving threats against members of Congress relative to last year in a hearing before the House Administration Committee.
“For FY 2018, we had approximately 4,894 cases. So far for this year, we have 2,502 cases,” said Sund. “So we’re on par to probably break last year’s record.”