Congresswoman compares calls to ‘simply overlook this occurred’ with ways of abusers

Jeanine Santucci
 
| USA TODAY

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez describes Capitol riot in emotional Instagram

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WASHINGTON – Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez described her expertise in the course of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot as traumatic in an at-times emotional Instagram Live on Monday evening, saying it “almost felt like a zombie movie or something.”

She detailed an encounter with a Capitol Police officer whom she initially feared was a rioter. Near the time the mob breached the U.S. Capitol, she stated, somebody started banging on the doorways of her workplace. Fearing that rioters had entered the constructing, she hid inside a toilet inside her internal workplace.

Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., stated she heard a person yelling, ” ‘Where is she?’ And I just thought to myself, ‘They got inside.'”

She stated she noticed a person sporting a black beanie by way of the door hinge and, as he continued to yell for her, “I thought I was going to die.”

“This is the moment where I thought, ‘Everything is over,'” she said.

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Ocasio-Cortez and her legislative director realized the man was actually a Capitol Police officer, but he didn’t identify himself as such and “was looking at me with a tremendous amount of anger and hostility,” she said.

Unsettled, Ocasio-Cortez said, her legislative director later remarked, “I didn’t know if he was here to help us or hurt us, either.”

The officer told them to go to another building but didn’t offer specific safety instructions or an exact location, according to Ocasio-Cortez.

“It’s that lack of belief that creates a lot volatility and concern,” Ocasio-Cortez stated.

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She and her legislative director ended up barricading themselves in Rep. Katie Porter’s office, where staff pushed furniture up against the doors. In case they needed to run outside, she and Porter rummaged through staffers’ things to find workout clothes to wear to better blend into the crowd. Ocasio-Cortez noted she had been running through the building wearing heels.

‘These are the same tactics of abusers’

Close to tears, Ocasio-Cortez also criticized calls for everyone to “overlook” the attack, comparing the rhetoric to that of abusers. Some members of Congress, she said, stoked the violence but are now encouraging people to move on “with none accountability.”

“The motive I’m getting emotional in this second is as a result of these people who inform us to maneuver on, that it is no large, that we should always overlook … these are the identical ways of abusers,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “And I’m a survivor of sexual assault. … But once we undergo trauma, trauma compounds on one another.”

” ‘Can we simply overlook this occurred in order that I can do it once more with out recourse?’ And that’s what these people are asking,” she stated.

Ocasio-Cortez stated she was sharing her story as a result of it is vital for survivors of trauma to recount their experiences.

“As a survivor, I wrestle with the thought of being believed,” she said.

Ocasio-Cortez said fellow members of Congress, including Sens. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., and Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who objected to President Joe Biden’s win and pushed former President Donald Trump’s baseless theories that he lost because of widespread election fraud, should resign.

“When given one other window of political alternative for themselves, even when they know that it means that it’s going to endanger their colleagues, they are going to do it once more,” she stated.

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In her hour and a half Instagram Live, Ocasio-Cortez also disputed the notion that there was no way to know ahead of time just how violent Jan. 6 would become. She said she received messages from fellow members of Congress up to a week before the attack warning her about possible violence on that day.

She also said Capitol Police acknowledged ahead of time that there was a security plan in place but that the details of the plan could not be shared with members of Congress because of the risk of leaks. 

Anyone who has said since there was no indication of the violence to come Jan. 6 “has lied to you,” Ocasio-Cortez stated.