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Dem candidate running to be city’s ‘first black mayor’ faked her own kidnapping to win votes, say South Carolina police

Dem candidate running to be city’s ‘first black mayor’ faked her own kidnapping to win votes, say South Carolina police
Sabrina Belcher, who is running for mayor of Sumter, South Carolina, has been arrested on charges of faking a kidnapping to win sympathy votes. She live-streamed the entire incident on Facebook.

Police say the 29-year-old candidate faked a beating and kidnapping to win “publicity, sympathy, and votes in the November election.” A 34-year-old man named Christopher Eady allegedly helped her fake the video.

Belcher reported to police that a man was trying to rob her, having broken the windows in her car, and kidnapped her. She claimed not to know the man, but police found in their investigation that she had been in contact with the alleged attacker, Eady, and the pair had planned out the incident days in advance.

“This was simply an effort to create disorder and discontent in our community for personal gain,” Police Chief Russell Roark said. “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.”

Police say Belcher has admitted to planning the ‘attack.’ She is being charged with filing a false police report and conspiracy. She is currently being held on a $10,000 bond. Eady is also being charged with conspiracy.

Belcher is one of six running for the position of Sumter mayor. Current Mayor Joe McElveen announced this year he would not be running for re-election, despite holding his position for 20 years. 

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Belcher’s campaign was mainly built around race, with the 29-year-old promoting herself as the first “black female candidate” to ever run for mayor in the city. Campaign promos also encouraged people to vote for the “first black mayor.”

She was described on her Facebook campaign page as a “community activist and local volunteer.” In a June interview, Belcher said she was running to stop “a lot of injustices” in her community. 

“It’s not so much about the race because I have actually lived here long enough to see that there’s a lot of different injustices and things that could be better,” she said. “We are learning to come together, and we are learning to show that it’s not about the color of your skin.”

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