MIAMI - A uniformed Miami police officer was photographed sporting a protective mask with a pro-Trump slogan while on duty and voting at Government Center Tuesday morning.
The backlash from his department was swift.
Miami's police chief, after seeing the photo posted on social media, said Officer Daniel Ubeda would be disciplined. Though exactly how had not been determined. The mayor also called the officer's actions "inappropriate," even if he was there to cast a ballot.
"It's a violation of departmental orders. A police officer is supposed to be impartial," Miami Mayor Francis Suarez said from City Hall Tuesday afternoon. "Irrespective of who the person was, whatever sign it would have been, it would've been problematic."
The person who happened to spot Ubeda was the chairman of the Miami-Dade Democratic Party, Steve Simeonidis.
Simeonidis, an attorney who works downtown, said he was passing through Government Center when he spotted Ubeda "well within" the 150-foot barrier that police and campaigners are not permitted under state statute during an election if they are endorsing a candidate. He photographed the officer and tweeted about the encounter.
"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.
Simeonidis said Ubeda "laughed it off" after he was questioned about the mask.
Deputy Police Chief Ron Papier said he spoke with Chief Jorge Colina and that the "appropriate disciplinary action" will be taken against Ubeda.
"Obviously this is a clear violation of our department policy regarding campaigning while on duty," Papier said. "Additionally, the mask has offensive language, which is also a violation of department policy."