FL: Police cameras show confusion, anger over DeSantis’ voter fraud arrests

Source: tampabay.com 10/18/22

TALLAHASSEE — When police went to arrest Tony Patterson outside his Tampa home in August, he couldn’t believe the reason.

“What is wrong with this state, man?” Patterson protested as he was being escorted to a police car in handcuffs. “Voter fraud? Y’all said anybody with a felony could vote, man.”

Body-worn camera footage recorded by local police captured the confusion and outrage of Hillsborough County residents who found themselves in handcuffs for casting a ballot following investigations by Gov. Ron DeSantis’ new Office of Election Crimes and Security.

The Aug. 18 arrests — conducted hours before DeSantis called a news conference to tout his crackdown on alleged voter fraud — were carried out by state police officers accompanied by local law enforcement.

The never-before-seen footage, obtained by the Times/Herald through public records requests, offers a personal glimpse of the effects of DeSantis’ efforts to root out perceived voter fraud.

“They’re going to pay the price,” DeSantis said during the news conference announcing the arrests.

Of the 19 people arrested, 12 were registered as Democrats and at least 13 are Black, the Times/Herald found.

Romona Oliver, 55, was about to leave for work when police walked up her driveway at 6:52 a.m. and told her they had a warrant for her arrest.

“Oh my God,” she said.

An officer told her she was being arrested for fraud, a third-degree felony, for voting illegally in 2020.

“Voter fraud?” she said. “I voted, but I ain’t commit no fraud.”

Oliver and 19 others are facing up to five years in prison after being accused by DeSantis and state police of both registering, and voting, illegally.

They are accused of violating a state law that doesn’t allow people convicted of murder or felony sex offenses to automatically be able to vote after they complete their sentence. A 2018 state constitutional amendment that restored the right to vote to many felons excluded this group.

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“Oliver’s lawyer, Tampa attorney Mark Rankin, said he thinks DeSantis’ election security force chose these 20 in particular because the public would not have sympathy for people who were convicted of murder or sexual offenses. During a news conference announcing the arrests, DeSantis noted their criminal

Well, that’s it in a nutshell. This NAZI GOPer governor just found something to hang his hat on. Plus he satisfied 4 kinds of constituents—soccer moms, law & order people, racists, and the partisans who believe the voter fraud myth.

“I always listen to everybody else. Vote for this. Vote for — come on, man,” Patterson grumbled. “I thought felons were able to vote. That’s why I signed a petition form, that’s what I remember.
“Why would you let me vote if I wasn’t able to vote?”
“I’m not sure, buddy,” the officer replied. “I don’t know.”

Even the police had sympathy for him! 😮

“What is wrong with this state, man?”

Exactly!!!!!!!

Perfect! He has brought to the forefront the very issue that needs to be tackled and done away with while being shown how poorly it is being administered. A good FLA lawyer should be able to shred this issue in court and in the press while getting these folks the ability to vote back in front of everyone to reconsider. Politicizing this could backfire and hopefully does.

It’s insane that they’re willing to spend all this money and jail people for up to 5 years, for literally doing nothing illegal but voting after having completed their sentences. For all the blah, blah, blah The Constitution, the GOP constantly like to tout, they sure as hell want to subvert the very core of our democracy. Give them enough time and we’ll have the “literacy test” back for voting. These people are the absolute worst.

I sure hope these folks demand trial. It seems to me the exclusion of certain kinds of felons abridges notions of equal protection of the law.

While the Left buys votes with pardons for pot convictions (never mind all the people Harris locked up for weed) and inflation relief checks (like Governor Nuisance is doing me a favor by returning some of my money), the Right buys votes through political persecution of the helpless because they want to participate in our democracy.
DeSantis would drag these people into the street for bullets to the head if he could and, as much as I hate to say it, the gathered crowd of Floridians would cheer and his popularity would soar.

I read my ‘General Comments’ comment. DeSantis is doing everything in his power to suppress the rights of individuals that either he sees as an enemy to his warped view of a just society, or that go against his quest for the ultimate power seat in the U.S. He makes Trump look like a choir boy. The difference is Trump was in it for self monetary gain and could care less about actual governance, while DeSantis is in it for some “higher morality”. He truly believes he can turn back the clock on rights in this country.

This is hilarious, arresting sex offenders for voter fraud, luckily for me I don’t vote, when I went to do my annual, I didn’t tell them how many vehicles I own, I wonder if I’m going to be arrested for that, or for Going to 24 hour fitness every day because it’s a frequent place that I dwell.
obviously sex offenders don’t have any rights in this country law-enforcement agencies can do what they please, it’s not like sex offenders are gonna stand up for themselves or fight back or anything.
Here in California we have over 107,000 offenders that’s not even counting the people incarcerated and people on the registry still do nothing I guess they’re all just waiting for Janice to pull A miracle out of her purse and save the day.
ACSOL has done their part in this fight but registrants haven’t done anything to take part in this fight they all just sit in the shadows patiently waiting for laws to change.
The fact is people don’t wanna work for anything they want everything handed to them Americans are so lazy.
All I know is if you want change you gotta fight for it. This article is just a prime example of how the United States government visions sex offenders

What happen to our vote being confidential? Is our tax return in jeopardy too? Oh we don’t have privacy….

Nothing wrong with fighting for justice. Respect of person is respecting to whom respect is due. Now authorities can play games but writing letters is one of the best ways to get their attention. If one fears evil than who’s evil or who trespasses against another. This constitution of this registry law has gone to far. Write those letters to congress to get some results. Janice is just a lawyer that specialized in Constitutional law course I don’t even think we have a well balanced constitution.

Charges dismissed for one of these poor guys. Hopefully the other cases are tossed as well…