Two Louisiana police officers have been fired after one called congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez a "vile idiot" and appeared to suggest she should be shot.
Charlie Rispoli, who authored the Facebook post, and Angelo Varisco, who "liked" it, were terminated Monday by Gretna Police Chief Arthur Lawson, who called the incident an "embarrassment" to his department at a press conference.
"These officers have certainly acted in a manner which was unprofessional, alluding to a violent act be conducted against a ... member of our government," he said.
Rispoli had reposted a false story about the New York member of the House of Representatives on Facebook Thursday, with comments calling her "a vile idiot" who "needs a round, and I don't meant the kind she used to serve," referring to her previous employment as a bartender, NOLA.com reported.
The comments have since been deleted, as, apparently, have the social media accounts of both men. The post followed controversial remarks made by President Trump, who last week said four congresswomen of color should "go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came."
He was referring to Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, all citizens, Democrats and new members of Congress.
Ocasio-Cortez responded Monday on Twitter to the Louisiana incident. "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," she said. "He's creating an environment where people can get hurt & he claims plausible deniability."
Lawson said his department had contacted Facebook to see if any additional officers had commented on the post before it was taken down. An investigation is ongoing, he said.
Rispoli had been on the force for 14 years, and Varisco for less than three years, Lawson said. Both had provided security in the Jefferson Parish Governmental Building and worked as patrol officers.
Neither have commented publicly on the incident.
The department has a social media policy that officers must sign, Lawson said. He described Rispoli as a "mild-mannered person" who made a poor decision "in the heat of the moment." He also said the former officer was remorseful.
The police chief said he did not believe Rispoli was instigating violence against the New York congresswoman but rather reflected "a lack of the officer paying attention to what's going on in the world around him."