A Louisiana police officer last week appeared to suggest that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOcasio-Cortez tears into Trump’s immigration agenda: ‘It’s about ethnicity and racism’ George Takei: US has hit a new low under Trump #IStandWithErica trends after Georgia Democratic lawmaker says she was told to ‘go back where you came from’ MORE (D-N.Y) needed to be shot in a since-deleted Facebook post.
Charlie Rispoli, who has been a member of the Gretna Police Department since 2005, made the suggestion in a Facebook post that linked to a story whose headline attributed a fabricated quote to the congresswoman, according to NOLA.com.
“This vile idiot needs a round…. And I don’t mean the kind she used to serve,” Rispoli said, apparently referencing Ocasio-Cortez’s career as a bartender.
The post included a link to a story from Taters Gonna Tate titled “Ocasio-Cortez on the Budget: ‘We Pay Soldiers Too Much.'” NOLA.com noted that the photo on the post included a “satire” label.
Snopes, a fact-checking website, also noted that the publisher frequently shares inflammatory misinformation and that the story was false.
Rispoli deleted the post on Friday and took down his Facebook page altogether on Saturday, NOLA.com noted.
It is unclear if he will face disciplinary action for the comments. But Chief Arthur Lawson of the Gretna Police Department said the post was “disturbing” after viewing it on Friday.
“I will tell you this: This will not go unchecked,” Lawson told NOLA.com. “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.”
The police chief added that he did not believe the remarks represented a threat toward the congresswoman. However, he did say that they likely violated a department social media policy.
“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,” he said.
The Gretna Police Department and Ocasio-Cortez’s office did not immediately respond to a request for further comment from The Hill.
The controversy involving Rispoli comes as police face greater scrutiny from the public regarding officers’ views on politics and race. The Philadelphia Police Department announced last week that it would fire 13 officers for sharing inflammatory and racist Facebook posts.
The step came just weeks after social media posts were exposed by the Plain View Project, a database that compiled posts from current and former police officers in cities around the U.S.
Lawson told NOLA.com that that Rispoli’s Facebook post represented the first time a Gretna police officer has suggested a violent act on social media. He said that the internal affairs department would look into the matter and that disciplinary action would not be disclosed publicly.