On Tuesday (Oct. 20), Officer Daniel Ubeda was spotted wearing a mask that read “Trump 2020 No more bullshit.” Steve Simeonidis, chairman of the Miami-Dade Democratic party, saw him at a voting center in Government Park and noticed he was “well within” the barrier that state laws forbid police from passing during an election.
Simeonidis posted the photo on Twitter and claimed Ubeda’s acts were an attempt to scare voters into supporting Trump.
“He was in full uniform with the mask and a gun. That’s voter intimidation,” Simeonidis said. He added that Ubeda’s actions are a crime and noted he should be suspended.
The Miami Police Department quickly got wind of the photo and immediately took action.
“We are aware of the photograph being circulated of a Miami police officer wearing a political mask in uniform,” a tweet from the department’s account read. “This behavior is unacceptable, a violation of department policy and is being addressed immediately.”
Deputy Police Chief Ron Papier and Miami Mayor Francis Suarez later confirmed disciplinary action will be taken against Ubeda. It is not yet clear how he will be punished.
“It’s inappropriate. A police officer is supposed to be impartial, irrespective who the person was, whatever sign it is,” Suarez said, per NBC Miami.
With Election Day just a few days away, Michelle Obama, LeBron James and Tyler Perry have launched efforts to boost early voting and combat voter suppression, but voter intimidation is still possible.
Yesterday (Oct. 19), the City of Miami announced that plainclothes police officers would be stationed at polling locations to ensure there is no voter intimidation at the early voting sites.
Look below for Simeonidis’ photo of Ubeda wearing his pro-Trump mask at a Florida polling location.
Not only is this an egregious form of voter intimidation, but it’s also a crime. pic.twitter.com/6IDoO3zHeZ— Steve Simeonidis (@stevesimeonidis) October 20, 2020