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AOC denies ‘faking’ handcuffs after being detained in Supreme Court protest

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., on Wednesday denied “faking” being handcuffed after she and her fellow Squad member, Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., were arrested during an abortion rights protest near the Supreme Court.

Ocasio-Cortez and Omar were among 17 House Democrats who were detained for blocking traffic at the Tuesday protest. Video caught Ocasio-Cortez being escorted by a police officer with her hands behind her back in the typical handcuffs pose. She then raised a fist to the crowd in solidarity, showing she wasn’t being constrained. 

Omar, too, briefly raised her fist to the crowd while walking away from the protest with her hands behind her back, video showed.

The Democrats received a wave of ridicule from conservatives for the stunt, including Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., who tweeted, “Politics has become performative art. So of course @aoc fakes being in handcuffs. Performance, not policy, is the name of the game up here.”

Ocasio-Cortez fired back in a tweet saying she placed her hands behind her back because she was trying to avoid escalating the situation.


“No faking here,” she wrote. “Putting your hands behind your back is a best practice while detained, handcuffed or not, to avoid escalating charges like resisting arrest. But 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.”

Ocasio-Cortez’s feud with Mace dates back to February 2021, after Mace suggested Ocasio-Cortez was exaggerating her fears of being hurt during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. Ocasio-Cortez, a sexual assault survivor, responded by claiming Mace, also a rape survivor, was silencing victims by casting doubt on her claims. A Mace spokeswoman clarified at the time that Mace’s comment “was a critique of media twisting AOC’s account, not of AOC.”

Representatives Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) are detained for their part in an abortion rights protest outside of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., U.S., July 19, 2022. 

But Ocasio-Cortez clearly still isn’t over it. In addition to Wednesday’s tweet, she tweeted about it again last month, saying she will “never forget” what Mace allegedly told her privately after the fact, but she declined to elaborate.

“I remember having a confrontation with Mace after what she did,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote. “I’m not even going to discuss it right now, but I will never forget that moment for the rest of my life.”

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