News about the right being ridiculous happens so fast we can hardly keep up. Yes, a police officer did say on a Facebook post that Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez needs a bullet in her, which people found alarming during a time when racism and right-wing violence are peaking.
But the cherry on top of this horror sundae is that the story he posted alongside the thinly-veiled death threat is fake news.
the quote that mad the cop so mad he threatened to shoot aoc isn’t even true. these guys love to make things up to give themselves aneurisms pic.twitter.com/4oQcV0FyHr— raandy (@randygdub) July 22, 2019
What likely tipped people off to the fact that the news was fake is the fact that it came from a website called “Taters Gonna Tate.” A quick glance at the website reveals that it is very low-budget, and also clearly one of those “satire” news sites making a poor attempt to imitate the Onion. In fact, the “About Us” section of Taters Gonna Tate comes with the following warning: “If you believe that it is real, you should have your head examined.”
How long has it been since police departments updated that psychological exam they supposedly give prospective cops?
Unfortunately, it’s “satire” like this that is commonly spread by conservatives who fail to click through when they see a headline that confirms their beliefs. They may have even been partially responsible for Trump getting elected, according to multiple experts, but that hasn’t stopped them from attempting to make money off of gullible right-wingers with guns.
What people don’t (maybe do) realize is when orgs air these hateful messages, my life changes bc of the flood of death threats they inspire.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) May 28, 2019
I‘ve had mornings where I wake up & the 1st thing I do w/ my coffee is review photos of the men (it’s always men) who want to kill me. https://t.co/hiYbPghad7
No, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez did not say that soldiers are paid too much. What did happen is that Officer Charlie Rispoli saw a headline and responded by that the congresswoman “needs a round” during a time when she and her fellow congresswomen of color are getting death threats regularly.
According to The Times-Picayune, Police Chief Arthur Lawson of Gretna, Louisiana, where Rispoli works, this threat, genuine or not, will be dealt with severely.
“I will tell you this: This will not go unchecked,” he said. “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.”
Although police departments are not always genuine in their promises to deal with problems like these, the Gretna Police Department not only fired Rispoli, they fired an additional cop for “liking” the post.
#BREAKING: Gretna police chief said he FIRED Officer Charles Rispoli for the FB post about U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. He said, “This vile idiot needs a round... & I don't mean the kind she used to serve.”— Christina Watkins (@CWatkinsWDSU) July 22, 2019
The chief also fired another officer who “liked” the post. @wdsu https://t.co/eRkM8xj723
“This incident, we feel, has been an embarrassment to our department,” said Lawson in a press conference earlier today. “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.”
The investigation is still ongoing as they look into who else interacted with the post, which has been taken down, and how.
Part of this outcome may be due to what Lawson called a “tidal wave” of calls to the police department demanding action. Well done, folks.