Texas Democrat Charged With Fabricating Racist Attacks

Texas Democrat Taral Patel
June 17, 2024

A local Democratic candidate in Texas has been charged after an investigation revealed that he allegedly created fake social media accounts to fabricate racist attacks on himself.

Taral Patel, running to be a commissioner for Fort Bend County, took to Facebook in September to share a collage of racially charged comments that had been directed at him throughout the campaign. "When my Republican opponents supporters' decide to hurl #racist, #anti-immigrant, #Hinduphobic, or otherwise disgusting insults at my family, faith community, colleagues, and me—that crosses a line," Patel said in the post.

Most usernames in the post were concealed, but the incumbent commissioner, Republican Andy Meyers, recognized a user named "Antonio Scalywag" who had previously directed comments at Meyers.

Meyers promptly called the Fort Bend County district attorney’s office to open an investigation to verify the user's identity. After issuing a subpoena to Facebook and Google, the district attorney’s office obtained the account owner’s name, phone number, address, Texas driver’s license number, and bank card number, all belonging to Patel.

Texas Rangers arrested Patel last week, charging him with one count of third-degree felony online impersonation and a misdemeanor charge for misrepresentation of identity, a violation of Texas election law.

"This is not a partisan issue, and the good people of Fort Bend County should be able to trust that when allegations are made, they are sincere," Fort Bend County GOP chairman Bobby Earle said in a statement. "Rather than discussing and debating the real issues that we face every day, Democrats such as Taral Patel use accusations of racism to divide this county and hide their failed agenda."

Patel’s bond was set at $22,500, and he was released the morning after his arrest after placing bond. He is due to appear in court on July 22.

Published under: Texas