An alarming incident at Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s Friday campaign event in Los Angeles has reignited concerns over candidate safety. An armed man posing as a federal marshal was arrested at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre, where Kennedy delivered a Hispanic Heritage speech. This event underscores the pressing issue of security gaps in our political climate, especially considering that Kennedy has been denied Secret Service protection despite persistent threats to his safety.
Los Angeles police responded to a disturbance call at 4:30 p.m. According to Breitbart, they found a man wearing “a badge on their lapel, a gun, and a shoulder holster,” claiming to be a U.S. Marshal. The imposter also asserted that he was part of the event staff—a claim no one could corroborate. Finally, a vigilant team from Gavin de Becker and Associates (GDBA), Kennedy’s private security detail, apprehended the man. Video footage captured him being handcuffed and escorted away by LAPD officers.
ASSASSINATION THREAT: Armed man pretending to be federal agent arrested at Los Angeles RFK Jr. eventhttps://t.co/Qj1cDJBtXy
— Jack Poso 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) September 16, 2023
Kennedy expressed his gratitude, stating, “I’m very grateful that alert and fast-acting protectors from Gavin de Becker and Associates (GDBA) spotted and detained an armed man who attempted to approach me. Armed GDBA team members moved quickly to isolate and detain the man until LAPD arrived to make the arrest.”
While no one was harmed during the incident, it raises serious questions about the Biden administration’s refusal to grant Kennedy Secret Service protection. Even though his father and uncle were assassinated, the Biden administration has not deemed it necessary to extend this vital service to Kennedy, who is running a primary challenge against the President. Kennedy said, “I am the first presidential candidate in history to whom the White House has denied a request for protection.”
The Secret Service typically protects “major” candidates within 120 days of a general presidential election. In consultation with House and Senate leadership, Homeland Security determines who falls under this “major” category. But wouldn’t the son and nephew of assassinated American leaders warrant special consideration, especially when he has faced explicit threats?
Kennedy’s campaign may be a long shot, with recent polling indicating that only 9% of Democrats say they will vote for him. Yet, one must wonder why the Biden administration seems content to withhold this level of security, especially given the genuine risks candidates face in today’s polarized environment. Could the refusal be a political maneuver to undermine Kennedy’s challenge? It’s a question that deserves attention.