- The Washington Times - Monday, July 22, 2019

Two Louisiana police officers have been fired over a Facebook post suggesting that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez should be shot, their department said Monday.

Officer Charlie Rispoli of the Gretna Police Department had written in a now-deleted post that the socialist lawmaker is a “vile idiot [who] needs a round…and I don’t mean the kind she used to serve” as a bartender.

Officer Angelo Varisco who gave the post a “like” also has been fired, Chief Arthur Lawson told reporters at a press conference Monday afternoon.

“This incident, we feel, has been an embarrassment to our department,” Chief Lawson said, according to the New Orleans news site Nola.com. “These officers have certainly acted in a manner which was unprofessional, alluding to a violent act be conducted against a sitting U.S. (congresswoman), a member of our government, we are not going to tolerate that.”

Chief Lawson said other officers could be punished depending on what further information from Facebook reveals.

“We still have an open investigation at this time until we get that final information from Facebook,” he said.

The chief had said, when the post was brought to his attention at the weekend, that he doesn’t think the officer’s words actually were a threat to kill Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, though the post violated department social-media policies regardless.

According to earlier reports, Officer Rispoli was reacting to a satirical article attributing a false quote to the socialist lawmaker: “We play soldiers too much.”

Officer Rispoli seemed to take the article as real, despite its being labeled as satire, Nola.com reported.

For her part, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez blamed President Trump.

“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,” she wrote on Twitter.

• Victor Morton can be reached at vmorton@washingtontimes.com.

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