Police officers in Miami Beach handed out fliers that led recipients to an online store selling merchandise supporting former President Donald Trump, the Miami Herald reported on Tuesday.
The fliers, which instructed drivers on how to resolve traffic tickets online, included a link to miamidadeclerk.com, which is the incorrect website address for the county court. The correct address, miami-dadeclerk.com, was also listed on the flier.
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The fliers were in circulation until last week. It’s unclear how long they were being distributed or how many drivers received them. The original, correct flier was sent to police across the county for distribution in May 2020, a court spokesperson told the Herald. But Miami Beach police “produced its own version of the notices and the error was inserted at some point during the printing process,” the paper notes, citing Miami Beach police spokesperson Ernesto Rodriguez.
Users who type in the incorrect address are redirected to an online store on findsale.com, and from there an Amazon page. Items for sale include Trump 2024 flags with captions like “Let’s Go Brandon” and “Hillary Belongs in Prison, Joe Belongs in a Nursing Home.” The site is a Trump 2024 “World After Trump” DVD, tagged with “Trump, Prophecy, Globalism.”
Paul Ozaeta, president of the Miami Beach police union, said he thinks officers would have raised the issue had they noticed the erroneous website address. “Most officers don’t sit there and say, ‘Let me make sure all of the links are right,'” he told the Herald. “If they say hand them out, you hand them out,” he added of the fliers.
New, correct fliers are being printed, Rodriguez said. In the meantime, officers are distributing outdated brochures that don’t mention options for avoiding going to court due to non-moving violations. Drivers will still be able to find this information on the court’s website, he said, according to the Herald.
Miami Beach police began distributing parking violation fliers in the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic to facilitate virtual ticket payments and court hearings.