MIAMI, FL – A uniformed Miami police officer was photographed wearing a protective face mask with a pro-Trump slogan while on duty and voting. The backlash from his department was swift as Miami’s police chief said that the officer would be disciplined.
A uniformed police officer in Miami is under investigation and will be disciplined after he was photographed wearing a pro-Trump mask at an early voting site. https://t.co/U2eg4GaSJb pic.twitter.com/HHjppnXmFw
— FOX 13 Tampa Bay (@FOX13News) October 20, 2020
The Miami Herald reported that after seeing the photo of the officer posted on social media, the police chief stated that Officer Daniel Ubeda would be disciplined. However, he did not detail how that discipline would be delivered.
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez called the officers actions “inappropriate,” even if he was there to cast his ballot.
Suarez said in a statement:
“It’s a violation of departmental orders. A police officer is supposed to be impartial. Irrespective of who the person was, whatever sign it would have been, it would’ve been problematic.”
According to reports, the person who happened to spot Officer Ubeda was the chairman of the Miami-Dade Democratic party, Steve Simeonidis. Simeonidis, an attorney who works downtown, said that he was passing through the Government Center when he spotted Officer Ubeda.
Here is @CityofMiami Police Officer Daniel Ubeda, in full uniform with badge and gun wearing his Trump mask inside of the polling location in government center.
This is city funded voter intimidation.
Ubeda should be suspended immediately. pic.twitter.com/TbJxu6mcem
— Steve Simeonidis (@stevesimeonidis) October 20, 2020
Simeonidis said that when he saw Officer Ubeda, he was “well within” the 150-foot barrier that police and campaigners are not permitted to be in under state statute during an election if they are there endorsing a candidate.
Not surprisingly, he photographed the officer and immediately tweeted about it.
“He may have been going to vote, but he was in full uniform with the mask and a gun. That’s voter intimidation.”
Simeonidis claimed that Officer Ubeda “laughed it off” after he was questioned about the mask.
Miami Police Department tweeted:
“We are aware of the photograph being circulated of a Miami Police officer wearing a political mask in uniform. This behavior is unacceptable, a violation of departmental policy, and is being addressed immediately.”
We are aware of the photograph being circulated of a Miami Police officer wearing a political mask in uniform. This behavior is unacceptable, a violation of departmental policy, and is being addressed immediately. pic.twitter.com/E3eO0IQh0f
— Miami PD (@MiamiPD) October 20, 2020
Deputy Police Chief Ron Papier said that he spoke with Chief Jorge Colina and that the “appropriate” disciplinary action will be taken against Officer Ubeda. Allegedly, the protective face mask read “Trump 2020 and no more bullshit.”
Simeonidis’s tweet and shared photograph went viral almost instantly, earning nearly 100,000 impressions within hours. Keon Hardemon, who is running for a Miami-Dade County commission seat, said that the officer’s actions were the reason some people are “afraid” of the police.
“It’s easy. No political speech in uniform, whatsoever.”
Officer Ubeda’s union representative defended him, saying that the officer was expressing his First Amendment right.
Fraternal Order of Police President Tommy Reyes said that Ubeda had just voted and was in the Government Center for less than 10 minutes when he was photographed.
Reyes also said that Florida statute permits police to vote in uniform.
“We would also like to state that the national FOP has endorsed President Trump’s re-election.”
Mayor Suarez and Chief Colina recently announced that they would be deploying plain-clothed officers near voting sites after receiving an unusually large amount of emails and messages from voters who said they were worried about violence and intimidation at any of Miami’s four voting sites.
Intimidation at the polls as been a major talking point during this election and at times violence has broken out at events and dueling protests between President Trump and Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden.
City of Miami Police say they are addressing a police officer’s behavior, after a photo of an officer wearing a Trump face mask at an early voting polling location began circulating online.https://t.co/qIWrFRjYlT
— News 4 Buffalo (@news4buffalo) October 20, 2020
It was also reported that an on-duty Hialeah police officer was spotted standing with his arms crossed at the entrance to the JFK library, the city’s largest voting site. After seeing the photograph, an election official said she called the staff at the library and the officer had moved on.
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SARASOTA, FL – Despite the democrats claim that there is nothing to worry about regarding this upcoming election, there are repeated events that should cause everyone concern.
The latest example of potential voter fraud is from Sarasota, Florida, in which a democrat attempted to get a ballot for his wife, who has been dead for two years.
I remember sitting in the gallery of #moleg a few years ago and listening to outgoing @MissouriSOS@JasonKander rail about how voter fraud was a non-issue drummed up by @GOP for political purposes. Huh. #ElectionFraud #ElectionIntegrityhttps://t.co/L1i7ce9IAM
— Michael Summers (@mjspreacher) October 5, 2020
Larry Wiggins, who is a registered democrat out of Florida, requested a mail in ballot for his dead wife. Manatee Supervisor of Elections, Mike Bennett, said that they discovered the issue during a routine check of the voter roll, which is normally done when someone requests a mail in ballot.
Bennett said that election officials noted that when they pulled up the name of the registered voter, Ursula Wiggins, they found that she had been deceased since 2018. They also noted issues with the handwriting of the person requesting the absentee ballot and her signature.
Wiggins, the registered democrat, claimed that he was not attempting to vote in the general election twice.
Wiggins told Tampa’s WFLA-TV that he was not trying to steal a vote, but rather he wanted to see what would happen.
He told them:
“I heard so much about ballots being sent in and people just having found them in different places. I feel like I haven’t done anything wrong.”
He then said, after requesting his dead wife’s ballot:
“I said well, ‘Let me just send it in and see what’s going to happen to see if they’re actually going to send a ballot for her to vote.”
How many more have done this?
Democrat Larry Wiggins was charged with a felony; Manatee elections officials says such fraud is not common https://t.co/FNyOyHvkVP
— Robert Lambert (@RobertL07676311) October 5, 2020
Well, thankfully, the system that is in place this time did catch the issue. The Manatee County elections officials notified the Sheriff’s Office when they checked and learned that Ursula was deceased.
Wiggins, when questioned about the voter issue, allegedly claimed that he was simply testing the system to see if it worked.
“He wanted to test the system. He did test the system, and guess what? It worked.”
Bennet, a Republican, said that his office will ensure that any voter fraud that is caught will be prosecuted.
“The amount of fraud committed in Florida in elections is very small. People complain that vote by mail is crooked; it’s not, we catch them, we verify it and any supervisor of elections in the state of Florida I know is just as conscious about it as I am.”
While this stoic belief in the system is admirable, there are plenty of examples of when the voter fraud has not been caught until it was too late. For instance, in North Carolina, there were 19 foreign nationals that voted in the 2016 general election, those illegal votes were not discovered until this year.
Despite that, Bennet claims that the amount of voter fraud is minimal.
“The amount of fraud is very, very small…people who think there’s a lot of fraud are seriously mistaken…
“The thing we’re pushing is we want people to know no matter what county you’re in, in Florida every supervisor in Florida is dedicated to make sure we have fair and honest elections.”
However confident Bennet is, that does not change the fact of the many cases of voter fraud that have been turning up this year. A point in which President Donald Trump has made several times on the campaign trail.
The question remains, will the amount of voter fraud that has been caught so far this year outweigh the attempts and/or successful efforts of those wanting to commit fraud?
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