Vote 2020 graphic
Everything you need to know about and expect during
the most important election of our lifetimes

Two Cops Fired Over Facebook Post Suggesting Rep. Ocasio-Cortez Should Be Assassinated

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez holds an immigration Town Hall In Queens on July 20, 2019 in New York City.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez holds an immigration Town Hall In Queens on July 20, 2019 in New York City.
Photo: Getty Images

Two police officers in Gretna, Louisiana have been fired over a Facebook post that suggested Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez should be killed. One of the officers published the content and another police officer liked it.


Charlie Rispoli, a 14-year veteran of the Gretna police force, shared an article on Facebook last week that included fake quotes attributed to Rep. Ocasio-Cortez. The article, which was marked as satire, contained a fake quote from Ocasio-Cortez about members of the U.S. military being paid too much.

Rispoli, apparently believing that the article was real, wrote that Ocasio-Cortez was a “vile idiot,” and that she, “needs a round, and I don’t mean the kind she used to serve.” The congresswoman was previously a bartender before she was elected to Congress.


Angelo Variscom, another officer from the Gretna PD, reportedly liked the post according to local news outlets, and both officers were fired on Monday for violating the police department’s social media policy. Gretna Police Chief Arthur Lawson called the actions an “embarrassment” at a press conference yesterday.

Ocasio-Cortez is frequently the target of far right social media trolls and has been singled out by President Donald Trump during his neo-fascist rallies. Most recently, the president sat back while one of his crowds in North Carolina chanted “send her back” about another congresswoman, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota. Omar was born in Somalia but became a U.S. citizen as a child and the chant was clearly racist. Representatives Omar and Ocasio-Cortez are both part of an informal group known as “The Squad,” which also includes congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley.

“This is Trump’s goal when he uses targeted language & threatens elected officials who don’t agree w/ his political agenda,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted on Monday. “It’s authoritarian behavior. The President is sowing violence. He’s creating an environment where people can get hurt & he claims plausible deniability.”

The Facebook post by a police officer in Gretna, Louisiana named Charlie Rispoli who was fired this week for suggesting that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez should be murdered
The Facebook post by a police officer in Gretna, Louisiana named Charlie Rispoli who was fired this week for suggesting that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez should be murdered
Screenshot: Facebook/NOLA

Ocasio-Cortez was also singled out in a Facebook group comprised of current and former members of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) that was recently revealed by the news outlet ProPublica. One of the Facebook posts in the group showed a photoshopped image of President Trump participating in a violent sexual assault of Ocasio-Cortez. Last week, the congresswoman asked Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan about the posts in an opening hearing.

“Those posts are unacceptable,” McAleenan said. “They are being investigated but I don’t think that it’s fair to apply them to the entire organization or that even the members of that group believed or supported those posts.”


But the the image wasn’t out of character for the group and it wasn’t comprised of just a small minority of CBP. According to a report from the Intercept, the Facebook group was so normalized within DHS culture that Border Patrol chief Carla Provost was even a member.

“Mr. Secretary, so you don’t think that having 10,000 officers in a violent, racist group sharing rape memes of members of Congress points to any concern of a dehumanized culture?” Ocasio-Cortez asked last Thursday.


McAleenan countered that the agency was “absolutely committed to the well-being of everyone that they interact with.”

But new reports come out every single day that contradict McAleenan’s claims. Just yesterday, NBC News published the story of a 17-year-old who described horrific conditions in one American run concentration camp at the U.S.-Mexico border. The Guatemalan teenager described children going hungry, border agents taunting kids, and the lights being on 24-hours per day.


“Sometimes, we would give one [hamburger] to the little ones. Because the little ones were the ones that wanted to eat more than others. At least, [the older kids could] stand the hunger a little more,” the teen said.

And on top of all that, American citizens are now being swept up into President Trump’s system of concentration camps. Dallas News published a report yesterday about an 18-year-old born in Dallas, Texas who was recently apprehended. The teen, Francisco Erwin Galicia, was detained at a CBP checkpoint on June 27, and now sits in an ICE facility despite the fact that his mother has provided his American birth certificate.


The Trump regime also published a new rule yesterday that will allow border agents to deport anyone who can’t prove that they’re an American citizen and have been in the U.S. for at least two years.

“The Trump admin’s new ‘expedited removal’ rule should terrify us all,” Congresswoman Diana DeGette of Colorado tweeted yesterday. “It will allow ICE officers to approach ANYBODY in the U.S. (w/o probable cause) & demand they prove they’re a citizen or have been in the US for 2 years. If they can’t, they’re deported. No trial, no hearing.”


The U.S. is now legitimately under proto-authoritarian rule and it’s going to get so much worse very quickly. And the rest of the world is going to see it play out on social media through the Twitter and Facebook posts of not just cops, but the President of the United States himself.

Matt Novak is the editor of Gizmodo's Paleofuture blog

Share This Story

Get our newsletter


Wasabi Buttplug

This is why I limit my caustic comments to former politic figures.

William McKinley had that shit coming.