A Gretna, La., police officer is facing intense criticism after attacking U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Facebook last week, where he seemed to insinuate that she should be shot.
In a social media post made last Thursday, officer Charlie Rispoli shared a false news item with a fabricated quote from Ocasio-Cortez, claiming that she said, “We pay soldiers too much,” according to the Times-Picayune/the New Orleans Advocate. Rispoli responded in the post by calling her a “vile idiot” and said she “needs a round, and I don’t mean the kind she used to serve.”
A “round” is another name for a bullet or cartridge. With the “serve” comment, Rispoli is most likely referencing Ocasio-Cortez’s time working as a bartender.
The fake story that Rispoli shared was from a site named Taters Gonna Tate, which claims to be a satirical and parody news site. On the site’s About Us page, it professes its purpose saying, “Our mission is to do our best to show [conservatives] the light, through shame if necessary, and to have a good time doing it…”
The Gretna Police department did not respond to multiple requests for comment, but Chief Arthur Lawson was disturbed when he saw the post on Friday, according to the Times-Picayune/Advocate.
“I will tell you this: This will not go unchecked,” Lawson said, according to the Times-Picayune/Advocate. “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 that’s affiliated with our department to make these types of statements. That’s not going to happen.”
Chief Lawson said he does not believe the comments were an actual threat, but did say they appear to go against the department’s social media rules, the Times-Picayune/Advocate said.
Police officers across the country are facing backlash, after Plain View Project, a nonprofit organization, released a report in June showing over 3,000 social media posts from former and current police officers.
In response, the Philadelphia police department took 72 officers off the street over offensive posts.
The Gretna Police Department is investigating Rispoli’s post and if there have been any repercussions, the Times-Picayune/Advocate said those will not be made public.
“Whether you agree or disagree with the message of these elected officials and how frustrated you may or may not get, this certainly is not the type of thing that a public servant should be posting,” Chief Lawson told the paper.