MIAMI – Miami Mayor Francis Suarez said Tuesday that a city police officer who was photographed wearing a Trump 2020 face mask while in uniform at a polling location will be disciplined.
Suarez confirmed that the officer was in line to vote when the photo was taken and said he was unsure whether the officer was on duty at the time. Regardless, he said it violated department policy.
“The City of Miami and the Miami Police Department do not support or endorse any candidate for political party or elected office,” Suarez said. “It is our mission to provide impartial police services to everyone regardless of political affiliation.”
Attorney Steve Simeonidis, who is the Chair of the Miami-Dade Democratic Party, tweeted a photo of the officer, identifying him as Officer Daniel Ubeda.
He said Ubeda was wearing the mask, which read, “Trump 2020. No more bull****” at the polling location in Government Center.
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.— Steve Simeonidis (@stevesimeonidis) October 20, 2020
This is city funded voter intimidation.
Ubeda should be suspended immediately. pic.twitter.com/TbJxu6mcem
“This is city funded voter intimidation,” Simeonidis wrote.
Miami Commissioner Ken Russell said the incident was unacceptable and the Miami Police Department tweeted that the officer’s actions were a violation of departmental policy.
Unacceptable. I have been in touch with our police chief. There should be no police presence at polling locations unless they have been called for an emergency. There should be no political messaging as part of our officers’ uniforms.— Ken Russell Miami (@kenrussellmiami) October 20, 2020
“There should be no police presence at polling locations unless they have been called for an emergency,” Russell tweeted. “There should be no political messaging as part of our officers' uniforms.”
Suarez told reporters Tuesday that the officer was in his right to vote while in uniform, but said he was not given permission to wear a politically-related face mask while in uniform and said that the officer’s actions were “inappropriate.”
According to the mayor, Miami police officers are barred from wearing any sort of political branding while in uniform.