A leftist Florida media outlet released a video on Tuesday showing confused and angry responses from people who were arrested in August during Governor Ron DeSantis’ crackdown on voter fraud.
Despite the massive outcry from Democrats over the crackdown, at least two Republicans were busted as well in The Villages, according to Click Orlando. Of the 19 people arrested, 12 were registered as Democrats and at least 13 of them were black.
The bodycam footage shows police officers arresting Hillsborough County residents who were informed that they had warrants for their arrest for voter fraud.
“Apparently, I guess you have a warrant?” one officer can be heard informing a shocked Tampa resident named Tony Patterson in the footage obtained by the Tampa Bay Times.
“For what?” Patterson asked disbelievingly. Another officer responded, “It’s for voter stuff, man.”
Local police captured on video the first arrests of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ new election security force. They show people confused about why they were being arrested: “What is wrong with this state, man?” one Tampa resident said. https://t.co/nwIVLkrb5c
— Tampa Bay Times (@TB_Times) October 18, 2022
Meanwhile, in the heavily GOP Villages, people who admit to voting twice have “entered a diversion program that will allow them to avoid prison time if they perform community service and attend a civics class.” https://t.co/sQd4ZQojVn
— Bill Grueskin (@BGrueskin) October 18, 2022
“Oh my god, man, what the …” Patterson says in utter shock. The officer proceeded to explain the situation to the man.
Patterson was told as he was being handcuffed that as a registered sex offender, he was not allowed to vote in the state of Florida.
“What is wrong with this state, man?” Patterson commented as he was arrested and hauled off. “Voter fraud? Y’all said anybody with a felony could vote, man.”
(Video Credit: Tampa Bay Times)
The three individuals shown in the footage were evidently all arrested because they mistakenly voted after the voting laws for felons changed. Felons were given back the right to vote in Florida in 2018 with the exclusion of those convicted of murder or sex-related crimes.
“I thought … felons were able to vote,” Patterson asserted. “Why would y’all let me vote if I wasn’t able to vote?”
“I’ve never seen these charges before in my entire life,” an officer who was arresting Patterson told someone else over the radio.
Romona Oliver was also swept up in the arrests. She was angry and confused as police slapped cuffs on her for voter fraud as well.
“I’m like, voter fraud?” Oliver told one of the officers who arrested her. “I voted, but ain’t commit no fraud.”
Oliver served 18 years for second-degree murder. After getting out, she registered to vote at the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles in February 2020. She proceeded to update her address several months later and was the recipient of a voter ID card both times, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
The third person arrested was Nathan Hart, who is a registered sex offender. He told officers that someone at “the driver’s license place” told him that he could register to vote, despite being a felon.
(Video Credit: Tampa Bay Times)
“I said, ‘I’m a convicted felon, I’m pretty sure I can’t,’” he told officers. “He goes, ‘Well, are you still on probation?’”
“Just fill out the form,” Hart recounted. “And if you can vote, then they’ll give you a card. If you can’t vote, then you won’t.”
DeSantis has Democrats screeching in Florida after he created a new agency to investigate election crimes earlier this year.
“Clearly, those were illegally cast votes,” DeSantis said during a news conference defending the arrests.
(Video Credit: Forbes Breaking News)
Nineteen people were arrested for voter fraud in August based on the agency’s investigation, according to the Tampa Bay Times. Those arrested could face felony charges that carry fines up to $5,000 and could result in up to five years in prison.
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