By: Amy Jo Underwood
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) went on Instagram Live to tell her account of what happened at the Capitol riot on January 6, stating that it was a traumatic experience in which she feared for her life. While protesters gathered outside the Capitol building, and broke into the offices and chambers of Congress, her office was in another building.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) recounted her personal experience during the Capitol riot on Instagram Live, with a clip of her video receiving over 6 million views. In her account, she said that she heard banging on her door, and was told by her legislative director to “run and hide.” Congressional offices, however, are not located in the Capitol, but in other buildings surrounding the area. Her office is in the Cannon building, not in the Capitol building. To get to her office from the Capitol would require going down a street, across Capitol grounds, and crossing Independence Avenue.
While hiding in her office bathroom, she reportedly heard yelling and banging, with a voice shouting, “Where is she?! Where is she?!” AOC said that she thought that she was going to die, but when her legislative director told her to come out of the bathroom, she saw that the man banging on the door was a Capitol Police officer. The officer had come to tell her to shelter in place in another building near the premises. However, AOC stated that she did not trust the police officer, because it "didn't feel right because he was looking at me with a tremendous amount of anger and hostility."
After her account went viral, Newsweek reported that “rioters actually entered her office, forcing her to take refuge inside her bathroom.” Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC), who shares an office hallway with AOC, tweeted: “ Breathless attempts by media to fan fictitious news flames are dangerous. My office is 2 doors down. Insurrectionists never stormed our hallway.”
"We couldn't read if this was like a good situation or a bad situation, and it was like so many other communities in this country, like just that presence [of law enforcement officers] doesn't necessarily give you a clear signal if you're safe or not." - Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY)
“AOC made clear she didn’t know who was at her door. Breathless attempts by media to fan fictitious news flames are dangerous. My office is 2 doors down. Insurrectionists never stormed our hallway. Egregious doesn’t even begin to cover it. Is there nothing MSM won’t politicize?” - Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC)