A Louisiana police officer was fired on Monday over a Facebook post he made last week suggesting Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., be shot.
The officer, Charlie Rispoli, a 14-year veteran of the Gretna, Louisiana, police force, called Ocasio-Cortez a "vile idiot" who "needs a round, and I don't mean the kind she used to serve," referring to her past job as a bartender, according to a screenshot posted by nola.com, the website for The Times-Picayune in New Orleans. According to the news outlet, his comment was a reaction to a fake quote attributed to the congresswoman claiming that "we pay soldiers too much." Both his post and Facebook account have since been taken down.
Gretna's police chief, Arthur Lawson, said in a news conference on Monday that both Rispoli and another officer who liked the post were terminated. He called the situation an "embarrassment to our department" and "very, very disappointing."
Ocasio-Cortez responded to the news on Twitter, blaming Trump's rhetoric.
"This is Trump’s goal when he uses targeted language & threatens elected officials who don’t agree w/ his political agenda," she said. "It’s authoritarian behavior. The President is sowing violence. He’s creating an environment where people can get hurt & he claims plausible deniability."
The episode comes amid a week of backlash over comments President Donald Trump made that Ocasio-Cortez and three other freshmen congresswomen of color should "go back" to where they "originally came from" rather than criticize his administration. All four lawmakers are U.S. citizens and three of them, including Ocasio-Cortez, were born in the U.S.
Ocasio-Cortez was also the subject of violent and misogynistic Facebook posts in a private group where nearly 10,000 current and former Customs and Border Protection agents exchanged thoughts, a ProPublica investigation revealed.
And the four congresswomen targeted in Trump's tweets, Ocasio-Cortez, Reps. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., were the subject of a recent Facebook post by the Republican County Chairmen’s Association of Illinois, which labeled them the “jihad squad.”
“Political Jihad is their game,” the since-deleted post read. “If you don’t agree with their socialist ideology you’re racist.”
The state's GOP chairman, Tim Schneider, disavowed the post Sunday night.
“Bigoted rhetoric greatly distracts from legitimate and important policy debates and further divides our nation,” Mr. Schneider said, adding, “I urge everyone who opposes them to keep the rhetoric focused on policy and ideology.”