Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was arrested at an abortion-rights protest at the Supreme Court this week.
She walked with her hands behind her back as she was being escorted by an officer.
Critics accused her of faking handcuffs. She said the hand positioning is "best practice" to avoid escalating charges.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez rejected claims that she faked being handcuffed when she was arrested at an abortion-rights protest on Tuesday, saying the hand positioning is "best practice" to avoid escalating charges.
Ocasio-Cortez was filmed walking with her hands behind her back while being escorted by an officer at the scene, but later held up a fist when walking past supporters.
—Andrew Solender (@AndrewSolender) July 19, 2022
She shared a screenshot of a tweet by GOP Rep. Nancy Mace who accused her of pretending to be in handcuffs. Mance wrote: "Politics has become performative art. So of course @aoc fakes being in handcuffs. Performance, not policy, is the name of the game up here."
Ocasio-Cortez said in response: "No faking here. Putting your hands behind your back is a best practice while detained, handcuffed or not, to avoid escalating charges like resisting arrest."
It is not clear what Ocasio-Cortez was citing. The ACLU recommends that people who are arrested keep their hands where officers can see them, though it does not explicitly recommend a specific hand position.
Mace then responded by saying she still believed Ocasio-Cortez was faking, sharing a clip of Ocasio-Cortez raising her fist at supporters.
Mace wrote: "Idk. Here you are @aoc breaking your fake handcuff pose for a good fist pump and shout out to the crowd - looking 'tough'! Good theater though..."
Ocasio-Cortez responded in an Instagram Live by saying the video proved she wasn't faking anything, the New York Post reported.
"Republicans' favorite hobby is to make conspiracy theories out of everything to distract you and keep you from talking about what's actually important — which is the fact that they are trying to take away your right to bodily autonomy," she said.
"If I was faking that, why would I intentionally first pump somebody? It's so silly."
Ocasio-Cortez and a more than a dozen other Democratic lawmakers, including Rep. Ilhan Omar, were arrested near the Supreme Court, where they were protesting the court's recent decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene also accused Ocasio-Cortez of faking being handcuffed. "AOC just faked being handcuffed to sell her lie," she tweeted.
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