Two police officers from the New Orleans suburb of Gretna, Louisana have been fired -one for a Facebook post calling U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez a “vile idiot” and suggesting that she be shot, and the other for “liking” the post.
The announcement came on Monday from Gretna Police Cheif Arthur Lawson. Officer Charlie Rispoli was fired for a post saying Ocasio-Cortez “needs a round” and not “the kind she used to serve” – an apparent reference to her having once been a bartender.
In addition, officer Angelo Varisco was fired for “liking” the post. Chief Lawson stated that “it’s very disappointing,” adding that the Gretna Police Department trains officers on diversity issues and use of social media.
According to Lawson, an internal investigation began after he was informed of the post by the Times-Picayune/ The New Orleans Advocate. The newspaper reported that Rispoli’s post included a fake story with a fabricated quote to make it appear as if Ocasio-Cortez said: “We pay soldiers too much.”
Lawson went on to comment that the offensive post has been removed and that the department was in contact with Facebook to see whether any other officers were involved. Lawson said that both Rispoli and Varisco cooperated with the investigation and his opinion, neither of the men intended violence.
“Whether it was a joke or it wasn’t a joke, it was improper to make a comment like that, to insinuate a violent act against an individual, against an elected official, against a seated U.S. congressman,” Lawson said.