She mentioned these in Congress who’re telling her “to maneuver on,” and even apologize, following the violent rebel on the Capitol in January have been utilizing “the identical ways of abusers.”
“The explanation I say this and the explanation I am getting emotional on this second is as a result of these people who inform us to maneuver on, that it is not a giant deal, that we must always neglect what’s occurred, and even telling us to apologize. These are the identical ways of abusers. And, um, I am a survivor of sexual assault,” Ocasio-Cortez mentioned. The congresswoman didn’t share particulars of the assault.
“And I have not informed many individuals that in my life. However once we undergo trauma, trauma compounds on one another. And so, whether or not you had a negligent or a neglectful dad or mum, and — or whether or not you had somebody who was verbally abusive to you, whether or not you’re a survivor of abuse, whether or not you expertise any type of trauma in your life, small to massive — these episodes can compound on each other.”
All through a greater than one-hour broadcast on Instagram Dwell, Ocasio-Cortez shared distressing particulars about her expertise on January 6. One of the harrowing elements of the story was her retelling of when a person got here into her workplace unannounced, banged on a number of doorways and yelled, “The place is she?” Ocasio-Cortez mentioned she thought that man was an insurrectionist, however he was a Capitol Police officer.
“I believed I used to be going to die,” Ocasio-Cortez mentioned.
Recounting her expertise, Ocasio-Cortez mentioned she had simply returned to her workplace from getting the second dose of her Covid-19 vaccine when she and her legislative director, her solely staffer along with her on the time, heard loud bangs on doorways within the hallway. Ocasio-Cortez mentioned it was about 1:01 p.m. ET as a result of she mentioned she had simply gotten off the cellphone along with her chief of workers.
“I hear big violent bangs on my door after which each door going into my workplace,” Ocasio-Cortez mentioned. “Like somebody was attempting to interrupt the door down. And there have been no voices. There have been no yells. Nobody saying who they have been, no one figuring out themselves.”
Ocasio-Cortez mentioned she bumped into her legislative director’s workplace, who then informed her to cover. She at first hid within the workplace’s rest room earlier than trying to maneuver throughout the room right into a closet. Ulitmately, she determined to remain within the rest room after she felt it was too late to maneuver.
“I simply began to listen to these yells of, ‘The place is she? The place is she?'” Ocasio-Cortez recalled in the course of the Instagram Dwell broadcast.
Ocasio-Cortez mentioned at that time she was hiding behind the lavatory’s door, and was capable of see the officer — who she says had not recognized himself — transferring by her workplace, together with opening the door to her private workplace.
“I’ve by no means been quieter in my total life,” Ocasio Cortez mentioned. “I held my breath,” including, “This was the second the place I believed every part was over.”
It wasn’t till just a few moments later when a staffer informed her it was OK to return out that she realized the person was a Capitol Police officer.
Ocasio-Cortez communications director Lauren Hitt confirmed to CNN that the person within the black beanie who yelled, “The place is she?” all through the workplace unannounced was the identical particular person because the Capitol Police officer.
The New York Democrat mentioned her encounter with this Capitol Police officer “did not really feel proper,” and he or she was unnerved that he didn’t determine himself.
“Issues weren’t including up,” she added, saying she believed he was taking a look at her with “anger and hostility.”
CNN has requested the Capitol Police for touch upon Ocasio-Cortez’s account of the day.
She mentioned the police officer informed her and her staffer to “go down” and “go to this different constructing,” including that she purposefully omitted the identify of the constructing for safety causes.
“The scenario felt so unstable with this officer that I run over, I grabbed my bag and we simply begin operating over to that constructing,” she mentioned.
Working unescorted to the opposite constructing the officer instructed her to, Ocasio-Cortez mentioned they realized that they’d not been informed a selected location to go.
With no place to shelter, Ocasio-Cortez mentioned she and her legislative aide urgently tried to search out someplace to cover within the constructing as they began listening to rioters who have been within the means of storming the Capitol. She and her staffer went to a number of completely different flooring and knocked on the doorways of a number of completely different places of work earlier than discovering Rep. Katie Porter, a California Democrat, strolling by the hallway with a cup of espresso, Ocasio-Cortez mentioned in the course of the Instagram Dwell.
As soon as inside Porter’s workplace, Ocasio-Cortez mentioned staffers barricaded the door they usually discovered informal garments in an aide’s again she might turn into to mix in and be extra cell in case she needed to escape. Ocasio-Cortez estimated she was in Porter’s workplace for about 5 hours till it was protected for members to complete certifying the election outcomes.
“All these loopy ideas undergo your thoughts,” Ocasio-Cortez mentioned, sharing what she felt whereas in Porter’s workplace. “Are some places of work safer than others as a result of they’ve White sounding names? Or male sounding names?”
Ocasio-Cortez mentioned Rep. Ayanna Pressley, a Massachusetts Democrat who’s a fellow member of the progressive group known as “The Squad,” texted her to “come and eat” and he or she ended up staying in Pressley’s workplace till about 4 a.m. ET.
Ocasio-Cortez mentioned she had felt unsafe within the days main up the rebel and had her workers draw up a safety plan for January 6, anticipating some type of incident.
“The week previous to the rebel I began to get textual content messages that I wanted to watch out, and that particularly, I wanted to watch out about (January 6),” she mentioned. “These textual content messages got here from different members of Congress. They weren’t threats, however they have been different members, saying that they knew, and that they have been listening to — even from Trump individuals and Republicans that they knew of their life — that there was violence anticipated on Wednesday.”
The progressive congresswoman detailed a tense scenario on the Capitol within the days earlier than the riot, her encounters with “Cease the Steal” protesters as she got here to and from the Capitol and that, by January 5, she didn’t really feel protected going exterior.
“On Monday we have been already, as members of Congress, having heightened interactions with these individuals,” she mentioned. “And so, anybody who tells you that we could not have seen this coming is mendacity to you. Anybody who’s gone on the report and mentioned that there was no indication of violence has lied. There have been so many indications of this main as much as that second. They have been there on Monday.”
In a pair of tweets following her broadcast, Ocasio-Cortez wrote that her “story is not the one story, neither is it the central story of what occurred on Jan sixth.”
“It is only one story of lots of these whose lives have been endangered on the Capitol by the lies, threats, and violence fanned by the cowardice of people that selected private acquire above democracy,” she mentioned.
And thanking those that listened to her story on Instagram Dwell, the congresswoman once more addressed individuals asking members of Congress to “transfer on.”
“And to those that want to paper over their misdeeds by dashing us to all ‘transfer on’ – we will transfer on when the people accountable are held to account,” she wrote.
This story has been up to date with extra particulars of Ocasio-Cortez’s account of the Capitol rebel.
CNN’s Sarah Fortinsky contributed to this report.