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Police are 'harassing' private citizens for tweets made by other people
Two police officers allegedly paid a visit to the home of a podcaster in California because of a threat that was posted on Twitter against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.). However, the podcaster didn't make the threat toward AOC. Instead, it was reportedly another Twitter user who replied to the podcaster's original tweet where he benignly said the Democratic representative was "incredibly underwhelming" in an interview.
The podcaster, who goes by the name of @queeralamode on Twitter, shared a video of Ocasio-Cortez being interviewed by Michael Miller, the head of the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York. AOC was asked about Middle East peace, especially between Israelis and Palestinians.
"Her response was incredibly underwhelming, to say the very least," @queeralamode tweeted on April 7. The Twitter user, who is allegedly a progressive "anti-war activist," added, "Words AOC used: 'What' 'How' Words AOC didn't use: 'Occupation' 'Apartheid' 'Colonization' 'Genocide.'"
A day after he posted the tweet, two California Highway Patrol officers knocked on his door.
The podcaster told The Grayzone, "The officers said, 'We got a warning about a sitting member of Congress. And it was because of your tweet, which tagged them in it.' And then they just wouldn't back down from this accusation that I threatened to kill her."
Apparently, the U.S. Capitol Police in Washington, D.C., instructed law enforcement in California to investigate @queeralamode, whose real name is Ryan Wentz.
"I'm really shaken up right now. I was just visited by two plainclothes police officers from California Highway Patrol at my home," Wentz tweeted on April 8. "They said they came here on behalf of the Capitol Police and accused me of threatening @AOC on Twitter yesterday. This is provably false."
"This is completely outrageous. I was visited by two police at my home over a harmless tweet about @AOC. I felt scared, intimidated, and violated," Wentz, who doesn't provide his real name or home state on Twitter, said. "They knew my name and where I live. It was done on behalf of a congresswoman who advocates against police state tactics. I'd really appreciate it if @AOC could look into this. I recognize she probably receives a lot of threats, but I shouldn't be harassed by police for critiquing her politics. I frankly feel very unsafe in my home right now."
Ryan Grim, a reporter for The Intercept, said, "A spokesperson for @AOC says they did not report this post to police, and have asked for answers from Capitol Police: 'No, not at all. But when we saw his tweets last night about being visited we asked Capitol Police to look into what happened here.'"
The official Twitter account for the California Highway Patrol wrote, "The CHP often assists in investigations at the request of allied agencies. Please contact the U.S. Capitol Police for additional information."
"USCP investigates all threats that are reported by Congressional offices. The Department also monitors open and classified sources to identify and investigate threats," the Capitol Police told Fox News. "This is standard operating procedure for the department. As it pertains to this incident, the congresswomen did not request that USCP initiate an investigation."
A Capitol Police official informed Fox News that Wentz didn't make a threat toward Ocasio-Cortez, but someone who replied to his original tweet did threaten the congresswoman.
"They were tagged in a tweet that was perceived as threatening that prompted us to look into this," Capitol Police said. "Obviously as you can imagine, anytime there's anything that could be a perceived threat, we're going to talk to everybody involved, whether they're directly involved or indirectly involved."
The original tweet by Wentz, who has over 15,000 followers, received nearly 4,000 Likes and over 1,300 Quote Tweets.
That reply tweet with the threat to AOC has since been taken down from Twitter.
In February, AOC's office sent a mass email to supporters asking them to "scan your social media to find posts with misleading information" about the New York representative and "use the built-in report feature to flag" threats or harassment of Ocasio-Cortez.
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Paul Sacca is a staff writer for Blaze News.