Secret Service Allowed Armed Man with Criminal Record on Elevator with President
- By Matt Holden
- Oct 01, 2014
Secret Service allowed a security contractor with a gun and three prior convictions for assault and battery on an elevator with President Barack Obama during a Sept. 16 visit in Atlanta, according to a report.
Secret Service Director Julia Pierson has asked for the incident to be reviewed, but did not refer it to an investigative unit that was created to review violations of protocol and standards.
President Obama was visiting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to discuss the U.S. response to Ebola when the private contractor started to arouse security agents’ concerns as he did not comply with their orders to stop using a phone camera to videotape the president in the elevator.
Once President Obama got off, a few agents stayed behind to question the man and get his criminal history. The contractor was fired on the spot when the firm providing security discovered what was going on. Extensive screening is intended to keep people with either weapons or criminal histories out of arm’s reach of the president.
“You have a convicted felon within arm’s reach of the president and they never did a background check,” said Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, who heads a House subcommittee that oversees the Secret Service. “Words aren’t strong enough for the outrage I feel for the safety of the President and his family.”
The report of this lapse in security comes days after a man was able to jump the White House fence and enter the first floor before getting stopped.
Matt Holden is an Associate Content Editor for 1105 Media, Inc. He received his MFA and BA in journalism from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. He currently writes and edits for Occupational Health & Safety magazine, and Security Today.