WASHINGTON – Two Louisiana police officers were fired Monday, just days after one of them wrote in a Facebook post that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a "vile idiot" who should be shot.
Gretna, La., police officers Charlie Rispoli, who create the post, and Angelo Varisco, who liked the post online, were fired, police chief Author Lawson announced in a press conference Monday.
"These officers have certainly acted in a manner which was unprofessional, alluding to the violent act to be conducted against a sitting U.S. congressman, a member of our government, we're not going to tolerate that," Lawson said at the news conference, according to the New York Times. "This incident, we feel, has been an embarrassment to our department."
Rispoli, a 14-year veteran of the department, shared a blog post that falsely claims the New York Democrat said "We pay soldiers too much," according to a screenshot of the post taken by The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate.
"This vile idiot needs a round," Rispoli's wrote in the post. "And I don't mean the kind she used to serve," he added, referring to Ocasio-Cortez's time working as a bartender.
The social media post and resulting firings came amid mounting concern for elected officials' safety in the current political climate.
Ocasio-Cortez, along with Reps. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, have been the target of President Donald Trump's ire in the past week. He has repeatedly criticized the four progressive Democrats and called on them to "go back" to their countries. All four congresswomen are U.S. citizens, with three being born in the United States.
Trump's comments led leading Democrats on Capitol Hill to inquire about additional security for Omar and other lawmakers.
The New York Democrat just last week questioned Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan about threatening messages about her – including Photoshopped images depicting her being rape – in a secret Facebook group for current and former Border Patrol agents.
At Monday's press conference, Lawson said that both officers who were fired had worked the streets as patrol officers.
However, Lawson said he did not think that Rispoli meant any harm and just got "caught up in the heat of the moment."
Contributing: William Cummings
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Two Louisiana police officers fired after Ocasio-Cortez Facebook post