Democratic Candidate Arrested and Charged

( – In 2019, actor Jussie Smollett accused supporters of then-President Donald Trump of committing a hate crime against him in Chicago. Police later said he was lying and charged him with multiple offenses. He served jail time and decimated his career. Now, a Democratic candidate in Texas is accused of lying about racist messages.

Texas Rangers arrested Taral Patel, a candidate running for county commissioner in Fort Bend County Precinct 3. Fort Bend’s District Attorney’s Office began investigating the 30-year-old in October after he wrote a lengthy Facebook post the previous month and claimed he and his family were the victims of a racist smear campaign. He alleged his opponent’s supporters were behind the campaign.

Patel included a collage of racist messages he said he’d received throughout his candidacy. The posts included people calling him a “monkey” and attacking him for his Hindu faith. At the time, the Democrat claimed the “hateful images […] are from a place of deep and misguided fear.” He blamed Republicans and former President Donald Trump.

The Democrat’s opponent, Andy Meyers, reportedly began suspecting something was amiss when he noticed one of the names included in the collage was “Antonio Scalywag.” According to the incumbent, that was the name of an individual who attacked him online too.

Meyers requested officials begin an investigation into the claims made by Patel. Authorities subpoenaed Google and Facebook to obtain information about the user profile. The tech companies cooperated, and the documents provided to police allegedly led the investigators back to Patel.

Prosecutors have charged the Democrat with felony impersonation in the third degree. They also charged him with a Class A misdemeanor for misrepresentation of identity. The Texas Rangers took Patel to the Fort Bend County Jail where he was briefly held before he posted a $20,000 bond for the felony and $2,500 for the misdemeanor. He is scheduled for another court appearance on July 22.

Copyright 2024,