Democratic candidate, Biden appointee accused of creating fake racist attacks against himself

Patel is accused of using other people's pictures to create Facebook profiles and then posting racist comments with those profiles.

Published: June 16, 2024 3:19pm

Taral Patel, a Democratic candidate for Fort Bend, Texas, precinct commissioner and a Biden administration appointee, is accused of using fake online accounts to post racist messages about himself and then publicly accusing Republicans of being responsible for it.

Patel was arrested last week for the third-degree felony of online impersonation and the misdemeanor of misrepresenting his identity, court records show. He posted $22,500 in total for two bonds – one on each of the charges – and he surrendered his passport.

Patel made a Facebook post in September 2023 about the insults he allegedly ginned up against himself along with a photo of the racist comments.

"[W]hen 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," he wrote. He also accused former President Donald Trump and "today's extremist Republican party" of inciting such rhetoric.

Incumbent Republican commissioner Andy Meyers, Patel's opponent, was responsible for initiating the investigation of the comments, documents from the Fort Bend County District Clerk's office show, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Patel is accused of using other people's pictures to create Facebook profiles and then posting racist and hateful messages and comments with those profiles. He would then take the comments and use them to request donations throughout the county.

Many of the hateful comments endorsed incumbent Meyers. For example, a screenshot of one comment posted by Patel said: "I am with Meyers ALL THE WAY because he serves Jesus unlike Patel and his followers who worship Monkey and Elephant."

Patel's website states that President Joe Biden appointed him to serve as a White House liaison and as a member of the Asian American Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Committee.

Follow Madeleine Hubbard on X or Instagram.

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