A Louisiana police officer who wrote in a Facebook post that Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez “needs a round” has been fired.
Officer Charlie Rispoli, in a since-deleted post, linked to a satirical article about the freshman congresswoman and called her a “vile idiot” who “needs a round, and I don’t mean the kind she used to serve,” according to The Hill.
The Gretna Police Department announced Rispoli’s firing in a Monday press conference, NOLA.com reported.
Also fired was Officer Angelo Varisco, who “liked” Rispoli’s post.
The officer’s comments even prompted a response from the congresswoman herself.
“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,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote.
“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
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The article to which Rispoli linked in his post, titled “Ocasio-Cortez on the Budget: ‘We Pay Soldiers Too Much,’” came from a satirical website called Taters Gonna Tate. The website’s “about us” page notes that “everything on this website is fiction.”
Gretna Police Chief Arthur Lawson spoke at his department’s news conference.
“This incident, we feel, has been an embarrassment to our department,” Lawson said, according to NOLA.com.
“These officers have certainly acted in a manner which was unprofessional,” he continued, “alluding to a violent act be conducted against a sitting U.S. [congresswoman], a member of our government [and] we are not going to tolerate that.
“We still have an open investigation at this time until we get that final information from Facebook.”
The police chief also commented on Rispoli’s reaction to the satirical article.
“You see in social media where people don’t read what they’re reading and they don’t comprehend what they’re reading,” he said.
“They take a caption and react, read a headline and react to it. It’s a shame, but it’s the world we’re living in now. It’s sad, but it’s something we just can’t tolerate.”
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