Politics, Americas, US Elections 2020

US officer in Trump mask at voting site to be penalized

Democratic official who took photograph of officer says incident amounts to 'city funded voter intimidation'

Michael Hernandez   | 20.10.2020
US officer in Trump mask at voting site to be penalized file photo


A Miami, Florida police officer will face discipline for donning a mask supporting US President Donald Trump near a polling location open for early voting ahead of the Nov. 3 presidential election, the department said Tuesday.

It is unclear if Daniel Ubeda was on duty at the time a photograph of him was taken near the site, but he was seen in full uniform and was armed. He did not appear to be wearing a body camera, although his uniform looked as though it had a mount ready for one.

Early voting in Florida began Monday, the same day the picture was posted to Twitter.

"We are aware of the photograph being circulated of a Miami Police officer wearing a political mask in uniform," the Miami Police Department said on Twitter. "This behavior is unacceptable, a violation of departmental policy, and is being addressed immediately."

State employees are not to use their official authority to interfere in or influence elections, under Florida law.

Ron Papier, the city's deputy police chief, told the Miami Herald newspaper that “appropriate disciplinary action” would be taken against Ubeda.

The photograph of Ubeda, whose surname is visible on his uniform in the photograph, was taken by Steve Simeonidis, chairman of the Miami-Dade Democratic Party who also identified the officer as Daniel Ubeda.

"This is city funded voter intimidation," Simeonidis said on Twitter, citing the officer being in uniform at the voting location, as well as the apparent firearm he was carrying at the time. "Ubeda should be suspended immediately."

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