Ohio Man Charged After Threat To Shoot AOC
An Ohio man was charged on Friday after writing on Facebook that Democratic congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez “should be shot.”
“She should be shot. Can’t fire me, my employer would load the gun for me,” the man, Timothy James Ireland Jr., 41, wrote on his Facebook page.
Federal agents carried out a raid on Ireland’s Toledo home, finding multiple rounds of illegal ammunition.
According to the Washington Post, the police called Ireland before arresting him to ask about the post. “Ireland stated he was very proud of that post he made,” the agent wrote in an affidavit, also telling the agent that he “always carries his guns concealed” and that “everyone he knows has guns.”
Ocasio-Cortez has faced numerous violent threats since taking office in January. Two Louisiana police officers were fired weeks ago when one officer, Charlie Rispoli, wrote that “this vile idiot needs a round……..and I don’t mean the kind she used to serve,” on Facebook, with the other officer “liking” it.
“This incident, we feel, has been an embarrassment to our department,” said the officers’ Police Chief, Arthur Lawson. “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 [and] we are not going to tolerate that.”
Rispoli’s comment was made in response to a post on a self-described satire page, with the headline “Ocasio-Cortez on the Budget: ‘We Pay Soldiers Too Much.’” Ocasio-Cortez has previously pointed to misleading media as an intensifier of violent threats.
“It’s very clear that when right-wing media starts to heat up, that’s directly correlated to the amount of violent targeted threats we get,” Ocasio-Cortez told the Daily News in March. “There’s clearly a correlation between the intensity of Fox News and Breitbart and all those folks and the amount of threats that we get.”
The Washington Post reported that the police threats were part of broader trend in violent social media posts from law enforcement officials:
“Police officers nationwide have faced waves of scrutiny following investigations of social media posts by 3,500 current and former police officers published by the nonprofit Plain View Project. In Philadelphia alone, 72 officers were pulled from street duty. The department plans to fire 13 of them for violent, racist and homophobic posts.”
While AOC’s spokeswoman declined to comment on the most recent threat, the congresswoman has blamed earlier threats on President Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric. The president earlier tweeted that Ocasio-Cortez and three other minority congresswoman should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came,” despite the fact that three of those places are within the United States.
“This is Trump’s goal when he uses targeted language & threatens elected officials who don’t agree w/ his political agenda,” she wrote on Twitter. “It’s authoritarian behavior. The President is sowing violence. He’s creating an environment where people can get hurt & he claims plausible deniability.”