Virginia sheriff: AOC's claims about gun rights rally 'not worthy of response'

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's comments accusing Second Amendment supporters of "flying Confederate flags" during a peaceful rally in Richmond, Va. on Monday are "not worthy" of a response, Culpeper Country Sheriff Scott Jenkins said Tuesday.

"When we go out and march for the dignity and the recognition of the lives of people like Freddie Gray and Eric Garner, the whole place is surrounded by police in riot gear, without a gun in sight," Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., told journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates during a Martin Luther King Day event on Monday.

"And, here are all of these people flying Confederate flags with semi-automatic weapons, and [there are] almost no police officers at that protest.

"So, who or what are our institutions protecting from whom?" she asked.

Appearing on "Fox News @ Night" with host Shannon Bream and former Virginia Republican Congressman Dave Brat, Jenkins disputed Ocasio-Cortez's assertion -- echoing that of the liberal media -- that there were Confederate flags and said the police presence was significant.

"There were hundreds of officers from our state police as well as Capitol police there. To say that there wasn't a strong presence would be wrong," Jenkins told Bream.

"Her comments, I don't even believe they deserve any response at all. They're not worthy of it," he stated.

Virginia State police troopers stand near a security checkpoint at the Capitol grounds in Richmond.

Virginia State police troopers stand near a security checkpoint at the Capitol grounds in Richmond. (AP)

Brat accused Democratic Governor Ralph Northam -- who had declared a state of emergency late last week and beefed up security around the Capitol -- of escalating tensions in what the governor wrote "could have been a volatile situation."

"I cannot believe that Virginia, the land of [Thomas] Jefferson and the greats, are falling for it. It's unbelievable," Brat said.

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The Joint Information Center, made up of representatives from the Capitol, Richmond and Virginia State Police, estimated 6,000 people were allowed into a fenced-in area of Capitol Square. Additionally, they estimated 16,000 were outside the gates -- though event organizers said many more had turned out.

There was only one arrest. Capitol Police said a 21-year-old woman had been arrested and charged with one felony count of wearing a mask in public. Law enforcement said they warned the woman twice to remove a bandana covering her face but she had refused.

Fox News' Barnini Chakraborty contributed to this report.