Ocasio-Cortez thanks Capitol Police amid criticism of her riot experience

A close up of US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) thanked Capitol Police in a speech on the House floor Thursday night amid criticism after she shared her experience during the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.

Members of the lower chamber convened Thursday night to share their stories of the Capitol riot on the House floor. Ocasio-Cortez organized the hour and was the first lawmaker to speak. 

On Jan. 6, a group of pro-Trump supporters breached the Capitol, breaking windows, vandalizing offices and forcing both chambers of Congress to evacuate to undisclosed locations in the area. The event left several people, including a Capitol Police officer, dead. 

“Our staff, our Capitol Police, our House clerks, we thank you,” said Ocasio-Cortez. “We know how many of you were put in the line of danger because of the job you have.”

The New York Democrat continued to thank those that serve in Congress including staff members, food and service workers and custodial workers. 

She also added a special thank you to one of her staff members whom she called a “hero” for protecting her on the day of the riot.  

Before the remarks on the House floor, Ocasio-Cortez took to Instagram Monday to share her experience from the Capitol riot, stating that on that day she feared for her life.

On the day of the riot, the lawmaker said that she heard banging on her office door, prompting her to hide in the bathroom. She added that she attempted to hide in a closet before the intruder breached her office door, and she could hear a man yelling, “Where is she?!” 

“This was the moment where I thought everything was over,” she said. “In retrospect, maybe it was four seconds. Maybe it was five seconds. Maybe it was 10 seconds. Maybe it was one second. I don’t know. It felt like my brain was able to have so many thoughts in that moment between these screams and these yells of ‘Where is she? Where is she?'”

“I thought I was going to die,” she continued. “You have a lot of thoughts I think when you’re in a situation like that. And like also one of those thoughts that I have is … I really just felt like if this is the plan for me, then people will be able to take it from here.”

She said that the man yelling at her door wound up being a Capitol Police officer, but that he did not announce himself. 

Ultimately, the Ocasio-Cortez and a staffer hid in Rep. Katie Porter’s (D-Calif.) office.

Following her account on Instagram, some on social media criticized her recounting of the events, stating she wasn’t in danger and that the rioters weren’t by her office. 

Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) said that her office is close to Ocasio-Cortez’s office and that “no insurrectionist stormed our hallway.”

Ocasio-Cortez ripped Mace’s remarks, calling them “disgusting.” 

Tags Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Capitol attack Nancy Mace
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