Florida Police Officer To Be Disciplined After Showing Up At Voting Site With Trump Mask, In Uniform
A Florida police officer is facing disciplinary measures after reports that he showed up at a polling place wearing a Trump 2020 mask, while also in uniform. When confronted about the legal violations — uniformed officers are limited in their access to polling sites during elections per state law, and the mask is a violation in itself — the officer reportedly laughed.
According to the Miami Herald, Officer Daniel Ubeda’s violation was spotted by Steve Simeonidis, who happens to be the chairman of the Miami-Dade Democratic party. Simeonidis snapped a picture, and called out the activity as an act of voter intimidation on the city’s dime.
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
Aside from wearing blatantly political signage within a polling place, Deputy Police Chief Ron Papier and Police Chief Jorge Colina have discussed the matter and said that Officer Ubeda will face disciplinary action for campaigning while on duty — ” a clear violation of our department policy.” Deputy Chief Papier said that the offensive language — the mask says “Trump 2020 No More Bullsh*t” — is also a violation of department policy.
My Florida Legal lays out the laws regarding police access to polling sites. As far as that goes, an on-duty officer can enter to vote. However, Simeonidis told the Miami Herald that it wasn’t clear whether Ubeda was on his way to vote, or patrolling.
The Miami Police Department released a statement on Twitter, letting the public know that they have heard the complaints, and are addressing it 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
The department has not stated what disciplinary measures will be taken, whether Ubeda will continue in his employment, or whether he will face any charges.