Washington, DC – U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) posted a dramatic live diatribe on Monday night during which she questioned whether the U.S. Capitol Police officer who tried to safeguard her during the Capitol riot might have actually been trying to hurt her.
One police officer was killed, and almost 140 officers were injured in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol building.
Two more officers who were at the riot have since committed suicide.
But the leader of the controversial “Squad” of Democratic Socialist women described the experience of being assisted by one of the Capitol Police officers who risked his life to protect her as frightening.
Ocasio-Cortez told viewers of her Instagram live that she was hiding in her office at about 1 p.m. on Jan. 6 after rioters had overrun police and entered the U.S. Capitol when she heard banging on the office door “like someone was trying to break the door down.”
So she said she hid in the bathroom and then she heard the person get into her outer office.
“Where is she? Where is she?” Ocasio-Cortez said the man yelled.
She said she realized that it was too late to go anywhere else and she was trapped.
“This was the moment when I thought everything was over,” she said in the video.
“I mean, I thought I was going to die,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
She went on to say in the video that she quickly came to terms with the idea that if she were to die, her causes wouldn’t.
“I felt like, ya know, if this is the plan for me then people will be able to take it from here,” Ocasio-Cortez said and told her audience she was thinking of them.
But she said in the video she was okay with things because she knew “I had fulfilled my purpose.”
Then Ocasio-Cortez described how she peeked out through the door hinge and saw a “white man in a black beanie, um bump, just like open the door of my personal office and come inside my personal office and yell again ‘where is she?’”
“And I have never been quieter in my entire life. I was just –, I don’t even know if I held my breath. And then all of a sudden I hear my staffer G yell out ‘hey hey hey, it’s okay, come out,’” the congresswoman recalled dramatically.
Ocasio-Cortez said that the man yelling for her turned out to be a U.S. Capitol Police officer who said he was there to help her get to a safe location, but she found the situation suspicious because he was without a partner and wasn’t shouting “Capitol Police” as he searched the office for her.
“He was looking at me with a tremendous amount of anger and hostility,” she claimed. “Things weren’t adding up. Like there was no partner there… and he was looking at me in all this anger and hostility.”
The congresswoman said she later considered whether she have overreacted in the moment given they had just escaped a dangerous riot, but said that a staff member agreed and said the officer looked like he was angry with them.
“But I talked to G my legislative director after the fact and he said ‘no, I didn’t know if he was there to help us or hurt us either,’” she recalled.
Ocasio-Cortez said that “G” said the officer was so hostile that he was sizing him up as if he was going to have to fight him to protect his boss.
“Like that is how aggressive the situation was in that moment,” she said. “And we couldn’t even tell if this was a good situation or a bad situation.”
Then Ocasio-Cortez went on to compare the way she felt in her office in the U.S. Capitol complex to “so many other communities in this country, just that presence [of law enforcement] doesn’t give you a clear signal of whether you are safe or not.”
She said next the officer yelled at her and gave her instructions on where to go as she evacuated.
And then Ocasio-Cortez complained to her viewers that the Capitol Police officer who rushed to her office to make sure she could get to safety hadn’t bothered to “escort” her.
“The situation felt so volatile with this officer that I run over and grab my bag and we just start running over to that other building,” the congresswoman described.
“Mind you, we weren’t escorted,” she said. “He didn’t like come with us or follow us or anything like that.”
“So G and I start running to this other building… and it wasn’t until we get to that building that we realize that he didn’t give us a specific location…” Ocasio-Cortez complained.
She said this was happening as the Capitol building was being stormed and she and her staff were left without a room number or more specific instructions on how to get to safe place.
“He just told us to go to certain level of a certain building and that level of that building was street level,” the congresswoman said.
She said in the video that the building hadn’t been secured yet and they could hear the building being stormed.
Ocasio-Cortez compared the experience to a zombie invasion.
“It almost felt like a zombie movie or something,” the congresswoman explained with a straight face in the video.
She said it felt like the rioters were going to break through and get in any minute.
Ocasio-Cortez said she stopped and Googled the office number of a member, and discovered that location was, in fact, on the first floor.
So they ran down the stairs to that office and knocked on the door and nobody answered.
That’s when she remembered that U.S. Representative Katie Porter’s (D-California) office was on the same hallway and she ran down to her office and banged on her door and asked to shelter there.
Ocasio-Cortez several times during her broadcast pushed back against calls from those who have suggested it’s time to stop the impeachment process against former President Donald Trump.
During the video, she revealed that she had been a victim of sexual assault and said those who wanted to move on from the incident were using the same tactics that “abusers” used to silence their victims.
“These folks that tell us to move on, that it’s not a big deal, that we should forget what’s happened, or even telling us to apologize, these are the same tactics as abusers,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “This is not about a difference of political opinion. This is about basic humanity.”
The video about her ordeal came just a week after U.S. Capitol Police Acting Chief Yogananda Pittman apologized to Congress for the department’s handling of the Capitol riot and admitted leadership had not warned officers about the threat that was expected.