Officials said uniformed officer Daniel Ubeda’s gesture was intimidating to voters and demanded his immediate suspension.
A Miami police officer in uniform was photographed wearing a “Trump 2020” mask at an early-voting site. Now he faces disciplinary action.
Steve Simeonidis, Miami-Dade County Democratic chairperson, took a picture of the officer wearing his full uniform, police badge, name tag and gun, at the polling site in the Miami Government Center. The mask read “TRUMP 2020 NO MORE BULL****”
The Democratic party official tweeted about the situation, which he described as “city-funded voter intimidation,” and asked for the immediate suspension of the officer.
The cop was identified as Daniel Ubeda. The Miami Police Department condemned his behavior, saying it was “unacceptable” and will be addressed immediately.
Simeonidis, who is also a lawyer, told The Miami Herald that under state statute, police officers and campaigners are not allowed within 150 feet of a polling site if they are endorsing a candidate.
“He may have been going to vote. But he was in full uniform with the mask and a gun. That’s voter intimidation,” Simeonidis said.
The chairman also said Ubeda “laughed it off” when he was asked about the mask.
Miami Mayor Francis X. Suárez also condemned Ubeda’s action, which he said was being described by people as intimidation.
“Officers have a responsibility […] to protect our residents, and they have to do so in an impartial manner, and they can’t be making political statements or taking political stances while they’re wearing a uniform,” Suárez said during a press conference on Tuesday.
It is not known if the officer was on duty at the polling site.
Ubeda’s union, the Fraternal Order of Police, defended his action, claiming he has free-speech rights under the United States Constitution and is allowed to vote in uniform under state law.
Tommy Reyes, president of the police union, said the entity has endorsed Donald Trump’s reelection bid at a national level.