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AOC defends fake handcuff stunt at protest after criticism, mockery

Far-left Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez insisted Wednesday that she was not pretending to be in handcuffs when she put her arms behind her back after being arrested a day earlier at a pro-abortion demonstration outside the Supreme Court.

“No faking here,” the New York Democrat wrote in a Tweet responding to Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC).

“Putting your hands behind your back is a best practice while detained, handcuffed or not, to avoid escalating charges like resisting arrest,” added AOC, who made no mention of the fact that she gave a raised-fist salute to supporters without consequence.

In the initial tweet, Mace had accused Ocasio-Cortez of making her arrest “performative art.”

“So of course @AOC fakes being in handcuffs,” the Republican posted. “Performance, not policy, is the name of the game up here.” 

In her response, Ocasio-Cortez also took a direct swipe at Mace, saying that “given how you lied about a fellow rape survivor for ‘points,’ as you put it to me, I don’t expect much else from you.”

Mace fired back by posting video of AOC raising her fist, tweeting: “[I don’t know]. Here you are @aoc breaking your fake handcuff pose for a good fist pump and shout out to the crowd – looking ‘tough’! Good theater though…”

The Bronx and Queens lawmaker initially denied engaging in amateur dramatics during an Instagram Live video Tuesday night.

“Republicans’ favorite hobby is to make conspiracy theories out of everything to distract you and keep you from talking about what’s actually important — which is the fact that they are trying to take away your right to bodily autonomy,” AOC said. “If I was faking that, why would I intentionally first pump somebody? It’s so silly.”

On Wednesday, the “Squad” member lashed out at critics who claimed she had faked the arrest as well.

“I was arrested, charged, and fined. Police confirmed this fact and I posted the paperwork,” she said, before reiterating the “best practice” defense and declining to note the raised fist.  

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is escorted from the protest outside of the Supreme Court.
CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez,
AOC said she placed her hands behind her back to avoid escalating charges like resisting arrest.
ABC via Reuters

Ocasio-Cortez and 16 other Democratic lawmakers were arrested and cited for crowding, obstructing or incommoding after they blocked traffic. They face a fine of $50 they must pay within 15 days or opt for a hearing.

Capitol Police confirmed to The Post that “nobody was handcuffed as is standard for a noncustodial arrest.”

“As is standard for peaceful, planned protests — those who were arrested were ticketed and released on-site,” a spokesperson said.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Police confirmed AOC was arrested, charged, and fined.
Getty Images/Anna Moneymaker

Video shared on social media showed officers escorting lawmakers to a grassy area between the Supreme Court and Capitol building, where they were asked to pose with their congressional IDs in lieu of a mugshot.

Footage of AOC and fellow “Squad” Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) walking away with their arms behind their back — in Omar’s case, with no officer near her — drew scorn from Republicans and conservatives.

“The ‘just wants attention’ assumption is often a deeply false and misogynistic one that people readily adopt about women quickly and without much critical thought,” AOC insisted on Instagram Wednesday. “Why would a woman ‘just want attention’ if doing so hurts herself and her career?” 

The Democrat also claimed that the demonstration was not a publicity stunt, but rather “activist-led civil disobedience.” 

“If I didn’t or refused to participate in an activist request, people also would have burned me for that, too,” she said. “They have in the past.”



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