Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images(NEW ORLEANS) — A Louisiana police officer who reportedly posted on Facebook that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a “vile idiot” who “needs a round” has been fired.
Gretna Police Chief Arthur Lawson announced the termination of officer Charles Rispoli during a press conference on Monday, four days after he wrote the incriminating post.
“This vile idiot needs a round,” officer Charlie Rispoli allegedly wrote on Facebook Thursday. “And I don’t mean the kind she used to serve.”
Another officer, Angelo Varisco, was also fired for liking the post, Lawson said.
A screenshot of the comments was obtained by nola.com, which reports on the greater New Orleans area. The website said the reported post and the officer’s Facebook page have been taken down.
Rispoli was apparently responding to an article titled “Ocasio-Cortez on the Budget: ‘We Pay Soldiers Too Much,’” posted by a website which describes itself as ” network of parody, satire, and tomfoolery.”
Lawson said the department was made aware of the post on Friday after it got several calls from members of the media as well as the community, prompting officials to “immediately” open an internal investigation and place Rispoli on unpaid administrative leave.
Rispoli and Varisco were both terminated on Monday morning, Lawson said, describing their behavior as “completely irresponsible and intolerable.”
“Both of these officers we consider violated our policies regarding social media. We have a zero-tolerance policy,” Lawson said. “This incident, we feel, has been an embarrassment to our department.”
Rispoli was hired by the department in April 2005 and worked as a court bailiff before he transferred to the home incarceration program, where he would supervise individuals placed on house arrest by the court, Lawson said.
Varisco, who worked in security at City Hall and in the courts, was hired by the department in November 2016, Lawson said.
Each officer only conducted two arrests, each of which stemmed from inside the courtroom with defendants who were on trial, Lawson said.
Although Lawson said Rispoli’s alleged post eluded to a violent act, he doesn’t believe Rispoli was actually trying to incite violence against Ocasio-Cortez, describing the officer as “mild-mannered” and “not controversial.”
“That’s the part that’s certainly disheartening,” he said. “Do I think that this individual meant any violence? No. I don’t think that was the case.”
Lawson said Rispoli told him that he realized “very quickly that he shouldn’t have done it and took it down.”
In addition, Rispoli made the comments while he was undergoing additional training for policies and procedures on diversity and social media, Lawson said.
“With all those efforts, something like this still happens,” he said. “It’s very disturbing. It shows a lack of the officer’s paying attention to what’s going in the world around him.”
The police department has contacted Facebook to investigate whether any other employees were involved.
Neither Varisco nor Rispoli have responded to ABC News’ requests for comment. Ocasio-Cortez has not responded to the reported posting, either.
Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., worked as a bartender before she got elected.
She is part of a group of freshman Democrats known as “The Squad” who have been on the receiving end of online attacks and were told by President Donald Trump to “go back where you came from” on Twitter. They have also been some of his strongest critics in Congress.
The four lawmakers, Reps. Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich. and Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., were subject to another Facebook attack on Friday by the Republican County Chairmen’s Association of Illinois, which posted and then deleted a mimic movie poster depicting them as “The Jihad Squad.” This is one of the latest attempts to characterize this group of Congresswomen as being un-American.
Mark Shaw, the president of the Republican political organization, apologized on Sunday for the post saying that it was not authorized by him to be posted.
“This unauthorized posting is an unfortunate distraction from the serious debate surrounding the policies advocated by these four socialist members of the United States House of Representatives of which I strongly disagree,” Shaw posted on Facebook.
Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.