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CA podcaster gets visit from police after ‘lightly’ criticizing AOC on Twitter

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A left-wing, anti-war activist says he was left “shaken” after two police officers came to his apartment in California last week, accusing him of threatening Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Twitter.

Ryan Wentz, who goes by the Twitter handle @queeralamode, said the plainclothes California Highway Patrol officers came to his door Thursday, after he posted video of some vague remarks made by Ocasio-Cortez on Israel and Palestine and criticized her comments as “incredibly underwhelming.”

“I lightly criticized @AOC for a disappointing answer in response to a question about Palestine/Israel,” Wentz tweeted.

As a result, he said, police arrived at his address. At first, the two officers yelling his name sounded like, “my Postmates delivery,” Wentz said in a podcast Friday.

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“I felt scared, intimidated, and violated,” he tweeted. “They knew my name and where I live. It was done on behalf of a congresswoman who advocates against police state tactics.”

Wentz said the officers “right off the bat” described his tweet as a “threat to kill a sitting member of Congress.”

Ryan Wentz says he “lightly criticized @AOC for a disappointing answer in response to a question about Palestine/Israel.”
Ryan Wentz says he “lightly criticized @AOC for a disappointing answer in response to a question about Palestine/Israel.”
RichardMedhurst/YouTube

But AOC spokeswoman Lauren Hitt told The Post Saturday the congresswoman had not asked police to intervene in any way, and said her office has asked Capitol Police to explain what happened.

AOC was not behind the police visit to Wentz, who is the cohost of the left-wing podcast “Left Bitches,” the Capitol Police said in a statement.

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“USCP investigates all threats that are reported by Congressional offices,” the department said. “The Department also monitors open and classified sources to identify and investigate threats. This is standard operating procedure for the Department. As it pertains to this incident, the Congresswomen (sic) did not request that USCP initiate an investigation.”

AOC spokeswoman Lauren Hitt said the congresswoman had not asked police to intervene following Ryan Wentz’s tweet.
AOC spokeswoman Lauren Hitt said the congresswoman had not asked police to intervene following Ryan Wentz’s tweet.
CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Ocasio-Cortez’s office has publicly asked for help in identifying critics in the past, however. On Feb. 4, her campaign emailed supporters asking them to “scan your social media to find posts with misleading information” about the congresswoman, and “use the built-in report feature to flag them for moderators.”

Previously, in February 2019, AOC tweeted that her office was being flooded with “bigoted calls” and said it “forwards all the threats to Capitol Police to build files.”

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s office has previously requested supporters to “scan your social media to find posts with misleading information” about the congresswoman.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s office has previously requested supporters to “scan your social media to find posts with misleading information” about the congresswoman.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Post was unable to reach Wentz Saturday. Investigator Christopher Van Klaveren of the California Highway Patrol, whom Wentz identified as one of the officers who visited him Thursday, did not return a phone call from The Post.

The interview with Ocasio-Cortez that spurred Wentz’s original tweet was conducted by Michael S. Miller of the New York Jewish Community Relations Council. He asked her about what could be done to facilitate peace between Jewish Israelis and Palestinians.

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US Capitol Police says Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez “did not request that USCP initiate an investigation,” on Ryan Wentz.
US Capitol Police says AOC “did not request that USCP initiate an investigation” on Ryan Wentz.
CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images/Pool

Wentz took issue with some of her more meandering statements in the interview.

“I think that when we talk about peace, centering people’s humanity, protecting people’s rights – it’s not just about the what and the end goal which actually gets a lot of focus, but I actually think it’s much more about the how, and the way we are coming together, and how we interpret that what, and how we act in, you know, the actions we take to get to that what,” Ocasio-Cortez said at one point.

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