AOC says women and LGBTQ+ people aren’t safe at US Capitol after being harassed

AOC says LGBTQ+ people not safe at the Capitol after she was sexually harassed outside

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has slammed US Capitol security after she was harassed on the steps outside the building.

The Democrat told reporters on Thursday (14 July) that the Capitol “is not a place that is designed to protect women” after a far-right commentator filmed himself yelling sexual and racist comments at her.

She told reporters after the incident, which she described as “deeply disgusting” on Twitter: “This is not a place that is designed to protect women. It’s not a place that’s designed to protect LGBT people, and I fear for all of the journalists here.”

Business Insider reported that the man was BlazeTV contributor Alex Stein. He reportedly shouted sexual comments to Ocasio-Cortez on the steps of the Capitol on Wednesday (13 July, as well as accusing her of wanting to “kill babies”, referring to her pro-choice stance on abortion.

While Stein works for a media outlet, the Congressional Radio-Television Correspondents’ Executive Committee stated that he did not hold a Capitol Hill press pass, and that his actions “do not reflect the journalistic behaviour exhibited by our members”.

Capitol Police claimed in a statement that the incident was not “criminal”, although the man’s comments were “inappropriate”.

The Capitol Police statement read: “Last night a man outside the US Capitol Building recorded a video of himself making crude comments to a member of Congress. The comments, although inappropriate, are not criminal,

“In the video, the man never threatened or touched the congresswoman. Out of an abundance of caution, our officers stopped the man and ran his information, which did not show any warrants.”

Ocasio-Cortez linked the incident to the Capitol riots in 2021, saying: “I’m concerned about the real fundamental lack of procedures that have still not been addressed”.

She has previously described what it was like to be present at the Capitol during the insurrection, admitting that as she hid in a bathroom, she thought for a moment she might be killed as an unknown man, who turned out to be a police officer, approached her door.

“I heard huge violent bangs on my door and then every door going into my office,” she said.

“Like someone was trying to break the door down. And there were no voices. There were no yells. No one saying who they were, nobody identifying themselves.”

In the 18 months since the Capitol riots, at least 876 people have been arrested for their involvement, in almost every US state, and investigations are ongoing.