Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez isn’t a stranger to threats. The freshman congresswoman has used her social media platform, as well as her seat on Capitol Hill since her historical midterm election win, to bring attention to critical issues in our country which has garnered her enemies. For the most part, her haters are anonymous Twitter trolls who lunge at her with foul words. It should be known, death threats on the Internet are illegal.
Last month, a 41-year-old white man named Timothy Ireland from Ohio posted a vicious threat against Rep. Ocasio-Cortez and said: “she should be shot.” His threat, which he allegedly left as a comment to a news article, went on to say, “Can’t fire me, my employer would load the gun for me.”
On Thursday, police in Toledo arrested him and on Friday he was indicted. According to Fox News, the Justice Department said in a statement that Ireland was charged with “one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm, one count of being a fugitive in possession of a firearm, and one count of making interstate threats.”
“There is absolutely no place in the marketplace of ideas for threats of violence against any person, especially those who are elected to represent the American people,” U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio Justin Herdman said in a statement. “Disagreement on political issues cannot lead to acts of violence, and if it does, we will seek federal prison time.”
Also last month, around the same time that Ireland posted his offensive threat on Facebook, another man— this time a Louisianna police officer—posted a death threat on Facebook about Rep. Ocasio-Cortez. He too was arrested.
Rep. Ocasio-Cortez has not commented on this latest arrest. However, her office is very used to this disciple and illegal behavior but that doesn’t mean they’re not vigilant at all times. In a Time magazine interview, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez lamented the fact that she had lost all anonymity, now that she’s a public figure, and more so because there are crazy people everywhere who are capable of anything.
“I miss being able to go outside in sweats,” she said in her interview. “I can’t go anywhere in public and just be a person without a lot of people watching everything I do.”
According to the report on Fox News, Ireland had previous warrants for his arrests in other states in connection to several other crimes.