Former Police Officer Charlie Rispoli Threatened Congresswoman AOC's Life — And Got Fired

Photo: Gretna Police Department
Who Is Charlie Rispoli? New Details On The Louisiana Police Officer Fired For Posting That AOC Needed "A Round In Her"

People in the hip hop community have a saying: don't let what's online affect what happens to you offline. It's advice that this now-former police officer should have heeded, because when he threatened a sitting Congresswoman with death by a bullet, he ended up losing his job. Who is Charlie Rispoli?

Here's what we know about this fired cop (aside from the fact that he's getting his just desserts). 

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1. He'd just completed a round of social media training when he made the vile post. 

According to Vice News, Charlie Rispoli had just finished a round of social media training with the Gretna Police Department when he made the vile comment about Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. 

"The timing was particularly bad for Rispoli: He'd just completed social media training when he shared a fake news article about Democratic congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, saying: “This vile idiot needs a round...and I don’t mean the kind she used to serve," reported the outlet.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a sitting congresswoman from Queens.

2. The news story that Charlie Rispoli shared was from a 'satire' website. 

A recent article from Snopes, the well-respected 'fact-checking' website, made clear that the news story shared by Charlie Rispoli was from a website that specialized in "satirical' news. In other words, it was clear from the outset that the story was 'fake news,' yet Charlie Rispoli shared it anyway, and made clear that Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez deserved to be killed on the basis of said 'fake news.' 

"The source of the fabricated article, Taters Gonna Tate, is part of a network of sites and social media accounts operated by Christopher Blair, who produces a high volume of junk news and misinformation, much of it inflammatory, which he presents as “satire," reported the outlet, who added that Blair also was forced to retract a story about a fallen soldier that accused said soldier of being a "deserter." 

Ocasio-Cortez has been the target of several political smears. 

3. Another officer, Angelo Varisco, got fired when he liked Charlie Rispoli's post. 

According to CBS News, Angelo Varisco — a fellow officer with the Gretna Police Department — also got fired when he "liked" Charlie Rispoli's post about Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. 

"Rispoli and Angelo Varisco, a fellow officer who reportedly liked the post, have since been fired. During a press conference, Gretna Police Chief Arthur Lawson called the incident "an embarrassment to our department." "These officers certainly acted in a manner which was unprofessional alluding to a violent act to be conducted against a sitting U.S. congressman," Lawson said, according to the outlet.

This was the post that got Charlie Rispoli fired. 

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4. This incident is just one of many that police departments across the country have engaged in. 

According to the New York Times, this incident in Louisiana with Charlie Rispoli is far from the first incident of its kind. In fact, their disturbing report concluded that many police departments do the same thing. 

"Last month, researchers with the Plain View Project released a compilation of troubling posts made by public safety officers. They examined eight police departments across the country and found that — of the Facebook profiles they could verify — about one in five current officers, including many in supervisory roles, and more than two in five former officers used content that was misogynist, racist, Islamophobic or otherwise biased, or that undermined the concept of due process. The project spawned investigations and repercussions in Philadelphia, Phoenix, St. Louis and elsewhere," reported the outlet.

Charlie Rispoli and a fellow officer both got fired for this vile behavior. 

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5. Charlie Rispoli is not the first person to threaten Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's life, either. 

Let's be clear about something: you don't have to agree with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, or any other politician, past or present. But when you cross the line and threaten their very lives, you deserve the full fury of the law to rain down upon you. According to MarketWatch, Charlie Rispoli is just the latest in a series of attacks that threaten the Congresswoman, including going as far as threatening her life. 

"Ocasio-Cortez has been the target of threatening and lewd comments from law-enforcement officials before, including earlier this month when ProPublica found a secret Facebook page for Border Patrol agents to make crude jokes about her," the outlet reported. 

Eagle-eyed people on social media have identified Charlie Rispoli. 

6. Charlie Rispoli's now-former boss said that he was "an embarrassment."

According to NOLA.com, which was the first outlet to break the story, Charlie Rispoli's former boss said that he was "an embarrassment" to the department. 

"These officers have certainly acted in a manner which was unprofessional, alluding to a violent act to be conducted against a sitting U.S. (congresswoman), a member of our government. We are not going to tolerate that,” he said, according to the outlet.

Sounds like he got exactly what he deserved.

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Bernadette Giacomazzo is an editor, writer, and photographer whose work has appeared in People, Teen Vogue, Us Weekly, The Source, XXL, HipHopDX, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, and more. She is also the author of The Uprising series. For more information about Bernadette Giacomazzo, click here.