Jul 23, 2019

Louisiana police officers fired after suggesting AOC should be shot

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

A Louisiana police officer who suggested on Facebook that Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) should be shot was fired from his job, along with a second officer who liked his post.

The big picture: Nola.com first reported that Gretna City Police Department officer Charles Rispoli wrote in a post Thursday that linked to a fake story on the freshman lawmaker, "This vile idiot needs a round.... And I don't mean the kind she used to serve." The outlet obtained a screenshot before it was deleted.

What they're saying: Gretna City Police Department chief Arthur Lawson told a news conference filmed by WWLTV that Rispoli and Angelo Varisco, who "liked" the post, had been fired following an internal investigation.

"This incident we feel has been an embarrassment to our department. These officers acted in a manner which was unprofessional, alluding to a violent act to be conducted a sitting U.S. congresswoman."
— Gretna City Police Department chief Arthur Lawson

Why it matters: The incident came days after President Trump drew criticism even from some Republicans for tweeting that Ocasio-Cortez and 3 other Democratic congresswomen of color should "go back" and fix the "crime infested places from which they came," despite the fact 3 of the 4 are U.S.-born and all are American citizens.

  • Ocasio-Cortez publicly addressed the Louisiana police issue for the first time in a tweet on Monday saying, "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."

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Obama shares ex-staffers' op-ed accusing Trump of poisoning democracy

Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Former President Barack Obama shared Saturday a Washington Post op-ed by his former staffers, which criticizes President Donald Trump for his treatment of minority groups and for derogatory comments about 4 congresswomen of color.

"We stand with [the] congresswomen ... as well as all those currently under attack by President Trump, along with his supporters and his enablers, who feel deputized to decide who belongs here — and who does not. ... We refuse to sit idly by as racism, sexism, homophobia and xenophobia are wielded by the president and any elected official complicit in the poisoning of our democracy."
— Obama former staffers, Washington Post op-ed
Go deeperArrowJul 28, 2019

Warren: Trump's tweets on Baltimore and Cummings are ugly and racist

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) told reporters Saturday that President Trump's tweets about Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and the Baltimore-area district he represents are "ugly and racist."

The big picture: Trump doubled down on his earlier attacks on Cummings and the majority-black Baltimore-area district — which he called a "disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess" — retweeting fellow Republicans, who said "[t]his has nothing to do with race." Warren told Fox News that Trump's tweets were "part of his overall pattern of trying to stir up as much hatred and dissension in America as possible."

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Keep ReadingArrowJul 28, 2019

Trump meets with African American pastors amid accusations of racism

Photo: Chen Mengtong/China News Service/VCG via Getty Images

President Trump broadened his Twitter attacks on leading black figures Monday to include the Rev. Al Sharpton, as conservative African American pastors defended him from claims that he's racist following a meeting with him.

Why it matters: Trump has faced growing accusations of racism for targeting lawmakers of color and repeatedly lashing out at Rep. Elijah Cummings on Twitter and the majority-black Baltimore-area district he represents, notably calling it "a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess."

Go deeperArrowJul 30, 2019