Miami-Dade police left out a crucial hyphen in their traffic citation flyers —a typo that referred motorists in South Florida cited with traffic violations to a website selling Donald Trump 2024 election campaign merchandise.
“We’re aware of this typographical error now,” Miami Beach police spokesperson Ernesto Rodriguez said of the flyers. “We put out a notice to officers to discontinue using them.”
The city police flyer, which contains information on how to resolve minor traffic tickets online, mistakenly directed visitors to a website selling Trump 2024 hats, DVDs, flags and other items.
The flyer was printed and handed out at the start of 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and contained instructions for resolving “non-moving citations” like broken taillights or expired plates remotely so people did not have to show up in court.
The website listed on the flyer, miamidadeclerk.com, was not the official hyphenated address for the judicial portal of the Miami-Dade County Court system. The police flyer contained one correct hyphenated address and one incorrect un-hyphenated one.
Following inquiries from the Miami Herald, police administrators removed the flyers from headquarters and stopped their printing and distribution.
Rodriguez said that Miami Beach police have recently launched an investigation into how the website ended up on the flyers.
The registrant of the website was clever enough to realize that many people — not just the police — would make the same mistake.
The site did not appear to be linked to an official retailer for Trump’s 2024 campaign. The domain was registered on findsale.com, with Trump merchandise links directing visitors to Amazon.
As of this writing, the un-hyphenated domain is now registered with the city again and redirects to the official webpage for the Clerk’s Office.
Court administrators said Miami Beach police is the only agency that handed out flyers containing the typo.
Judge Steve Leifman said it was “disgusting” that political merchandise would be sold at an address for judicial purposes.
Rodriguez confirmed that new flyers with the correct web address will be printed and distributed.
Paul Ozaeta, a lieutenant and president of the city’s police union, was quick to defend officers over the mix-up.
“Most officers don’t sit there and say, ‘Let me make sure all of the links are right,’” he said. “If they say hand them out, you hand them out.”