WARNING: This post contains graphic video
On Tuesday night, a mayoral candidate in Sumter, South Carolina, reportedly faked her own kidnapping and assault via Facebook Live to garner “sympathy votes.”
Twenty-nine-year-old Sabrina Belcher, who fashioned herself the “1st black female candidate ever to run” for Sumter mayor, apparently coordinated her assault and kidnapping with 34-year-old Christopher Eaddy, WIS News reports.
“This was simply an effort to create disorder and discontent in our community for personal gain,” said Chief Russell Roark, according to the news station. “As a result, a valuable number of resources, including personnel, man-hours of the police department as well as local medical professionals, were wasted based on false information.”
“Around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, Belcher reported to police that she was assaulted and kidnapped by a man she didn’t know, who also tried to rob her,” the report outlines. “She said she was injured and the man broke out her car windows during the attack. Crews took Belcher to the hospital to be treated and she was released.”
However, it was later discovered that Belcher had prior contact with her alleged attacker and had apparently planned the attack with Eaddy.
The candidate admitted to officers that the attack was indeed a hoax.
Journalist Andy Ngo posted a portion of the since-delated Facebook video via Twitter.
“Here is part of the now-deleted Facebook live video police say was a fake kidnapping stunt to garner sympathy votes. Sabrina Princess Belcher campaigned to be the ‘first black female mayor’ for Sumter, S.C.,” he posted.
WARNING: graphic video
Here is part of the now-deleted Facebook live video police say was a fake kidnapping stunt to garner sympathy votes. Sabrina Princess Belcher campaigned to be the "first black female mayor" for Sumter, S.C. #HateHoax pic.twitter.com/UUM121q8UZ
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) August 21, 2020
WIS News says Belcher, according to police, was “trying to smear a political opponent during the fake Facebook Live attack, and planning to smear other candidates ahead of the election.”
Belcher has since been charged with conspiracy and filing a false police report of a felony, and Eaddy has been charged with conspiracy.
The pair were arrested and booked into the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office Detention Center on Wednesday.
Belcher is reportedly being held on a $10,000 bond and Eaddy, who has since been released, got a $5,000 bond.
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About six months ago, Belcher laid out some of her positions on her Facebook page via “campaign management”:
Sabrina Belcher 29, is a local resident of Sumter [South Carolina] and is a decorated community [a]ctivist and local volunteer. Belcher was the creator of the petitions in hopes that precious Neveah Adams would receive an amber alert and be brought home safely. She has volunteered locally at the Diamonds teen pregnancy prevention center, the United way of Sumter, the south Hope center, and the Salvation Army boys and girls club since the tender age of 13. She has been a volunteer firefighter for Sumter county. Belcher has many plans to enhance the city by focusing mainly on the community and the needs there in.
Belcher plans to implement a 24/7 police presence during school bus hours to help protect our children.
She also has other plans like rebuilding most of the abandoned buildings into free city funded after school programs.
Easy walkers ordinance is a plan also prepared by Belcher to creating walking bridges over most of our highways.
Belcher has many other plans in her make living better Campaign to enhance the city’s growth youth development and community’s.
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