Bodycam Video Shows Florida Police And Citizens Baffled During Voter Fraud Arrests

by | Oct 18, 2022 | Politics

Police body camera footage released by a Florida newspaper Tuesday shows how the arrests of several residents for alleged voter fraud two months ago touched off scenes of bafflement on all sides.On Aug. 18, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) held a press conference to announce the arrests of 20 people — a political stunt aimed at grossly exaggerating the impact of voter fraud on U.S. elections.AdvertisementDeSantis said at the time that the arrests were “just the first step” to a crackdown on supposedly widespread voter fraud, an issue that has become former President Donald Trump’s rallying cry since he lost his 2020 reelection bid. The governor, a staunch Trump ally, is seen to be jockeying for the Republican Party’s next presidential nomination. But DeSantis’ handling of election law in the state of Florida has also earned him significant criticism — further fueled by the new body camera footage.This week, the Tampa Bay Times published video of law enforcement approaching some of the 20 residents to be put under arrest, including Tony Patterson, Romona Oliver and Nathan Hart. The group included convicted murderers and sex offenders, who — unlike other felons in the state — are expressly forbidden from reclaiming their voting rights after serving their sentences.The officers appear “almost apologetic” as they carry out their duties, the paper said.“Apparently, I guess you have a warrant?” one officer says to Patterson in the video as he is arrested outside his home.Advertisement“For what?” Patterson asks. Officers respond that it relates to “voter stuff.”“So, unfortunately, right now we’re going to have to take you to jail,” one tells him.Patterson complies but voices his complaints, saying at one point, “Why would you all let me vote if I wasn’t able to vote?”Asked why authorities were just arresting him at that moment — two years after the alleged fraud — one officer replies, “I have no idea, man.”Footage from inside a cop car shows one of the officers saying, “I’ve never seen these charges before in my entire life.”Similar scenes played out with Oliver and Hart. When Hart offers a reason for why he believed he could vote legally, an officer even tells him that he made a compelling argument.[embedded content]AdvertisementAccording to the Tampa Bay Times, the group arrested in August consisted of 12 registered Democrats and at least 13 Black people.“They’re going to pay the price,” DeSantis said at his August press con …

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