(The Hill) — Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday pushed back on criticism claiming she faked being handcuffed when police arrested her at an abortion rights rally outside the Supreme Court.
“Politics has become performative art,” Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) tweeted on Wednesday. “So of course @aoc fakes being in handcuffs. Performance, not policy, is the name of the game up here.”
“No faking here,” Ocasio-Cortez responded on Twitter a few minutes later. “Putting your hands behind your back is a best practice while detained, handcuffed or not, to avoid escalating charges like resisting arrest.”
Ocasio-Cortez and 16 other Democratic lawmakers, including Reps. Ilhan Omar (Minn.), Ayanna Pressley (Mass.) and Katherine Clark (Mass.), were arrested on Tuesday during a pro-abortion rally near the Supreme Court and the Capitol.
U.S. Capitol Police said they began arresting the activists for blocking First Street NE after giving three warnings to protesters.
Videos of Ocasio-Cortez’s arrest, which showed her keeping her hands behind her back as police escorted her from the scene of the protest, gained significant attention online and in conservative media.
Many conservatives mocked the progressive lawmaker, saying the hand position showed she was pretending to be handcuffed.
Other lawmakers who were arrested included Democratic Reps. Alma Adams (N.C.), Cori Bush (Mo.), Bonnie Watson Coleman (N.J.), Madeleine Dean (Pa.), Veronica Escobar (Texas), Sara Jacobs (Calif.), Barbara Lee (Calif.), Andy Levin (Mich.), Carolyn Maloney (N.Y.), Jan Schakowsky (Ill.), Jackie Speier (Calif.), Rashida Tlaib (Mich.) and Nydia Velazquez (N.Y.).
The protest came less than a month after the court overturned Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, ending the constitutional right to abortion.
The ruling has led to fury from Democrats, sparking protests across the country and attempts to codify abortion rights that have little chance of becoming federal law.