Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) responded on Monday to news that a social media post from a Gretna, Louisiana police officer had promoted violence against her.
Officer Charlie Rispoli, who has served on the Gretna Police Department since 2005, wrote online that Ocasio-Cortez was a “vile idiot,” adding that she “needs a round…and I don’t mean the kind she used to serve,” per reporting from NOLA.com.
Ocasio-Cortez worked at one point as a bartender, but it’s understood that Rispoli’s post was alluding to a bullet, and his desire to see the lawmaker be shot.
Chief of Police Arthur Lawson, confronted with the posting by local media, called it “disturbing,” and promised that it would be looked at immediately.
“I’m not going to take this lightly and this will be dealt with on our end. It’s not something we want someone that’s affiliated with our department to make these types of statements. That’s not going to happen,” Lawson said.
Ocasio-Cortez, who has been targeted in a series of verbal and written attacks sent by President Donald Trump toward her and three other Democratic congresswomen over the past several days, said Rispoli’s threat was exactly what the president had wanted.
“This is Trump’s goal when he uses targeted language & threatens elected officials who don’t agree w/ his political agenda,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Twitter Monday afternoon. “It’s authoritarian behavior.”
The freshman congresswoman added that Trump was “sowing violence” and “creating an environment where people can get hurt & he claims plausible deniability.”
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
Violent behavior from Trump supporters isn’t anything new. According to reporting from ABC News, there have been at least 16 recorded incidents where an individual acted out criminally and aggressively, citing rhetoric that Trump had used himself while doing so.
Trump has refused to take any responsibility for the violence that has stemmed from any of his comments.
According to a Pew Research Poll out just last week, 78 percent of Americans believe that “heated” rhetoric “makes violence more likely,” including 61 percent of Republicans who say so and 91 percent of Democrats who agree. Seventy-three percent of respondents believe politicians should “avoid heated language because it could encourage violence,” according to the poll.