A South Carolina woman has been accused of attempting to boost her profile as a mayoral candidate by faking her own kidnapping and posting video of it online in a bid for sympathy votes.
What are the details?
Sabrina Belcher, 29, is competing in a crowded field of six candidates to become the next mayor of Sumter. But police say her political strategizing got out of hand when she allegedly plotted with associate James Eaddy, 34, to orchestrate a Facebook Live video showing her being robbed, beaten, and abducted “in order to garner publicity, sympathy and votes in the November election.”
During the video, Belcher mentioned the name of another candidate, which police say was an attempt to “discredit” her rival. Officers determined she “also had ongoing plans to smear other mayoral candidates prior to the election.”
Belcher showed up at the Sumter police station late Tuesday night claiming she had been “assaulted and kidnapped by an unknown man during an attempted robbery,” according to the department. The candidate was wounded and the windows of her vehicle were knocked out during the alleged attack.
“During the investigation,” police said, “Belcher provided a fake name of her attacker. However, officers later determined she was in contact with Eaddy whom she had worked with days prior to concoct and stage the reported incident.”
“This was simply an effort to create disorder and discontent in our community for personal gain,” Chief Russell Roark said. “As a result, a valuable number of resources, including personnel, manhours of the police department as well as local medical professionals, were wasted based on false information.”
Belcher eventually confessed to planning the ordeal, and she was arrested and booked into the Sumter County Detention Center with a $10,000 bond on charges of filing a false police report of a felony and conspiracy. Eaddy was charged with conspiracy.
The Miami Herald reported:
According to Belcher’s campaign page on Facebook, she is the first ‘Black female candidate ever to run.’ The page describes her as ‘a decorated community activist and local volunteer” as well as a volunteer firefighter in Sumter County. Her platform includes a bid for ’24/7 police presence during school bus hours to help protect our children.”
If elected, Belcher would be the first black mayor elected in Sumter. The Daily Caller noted that she is still in the race.
Sumter mayoral candidate fakes kidnapping, beating