An armed individual accused of impersonating a U.S. Marshal was apprehended during a campaign event for Robert Kennedy Jr. in Los Angeles, California, on Friday afternoon. The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) reported that a radio call was received at approximately 4:30 p.m. PT, alerting them to a man carrying “a loaded gun in a shoulder holster and a badge stating he was a U.S. Marshal.” LAPD officers quickly responded to the call and took the suspect into custody. The FBI also had a presence at the scene.
Kennedy disclosed the incident on social media, stating that members of his private security detail from Gavin de Becker and Associates “spotted and detained an armed man” who had attempted to approach him during a campaign speech at the Wilshire Ebell Theater, focusing on Hispanic Heritage Month.
Details about the suspect’s booking were not immediately available.
This incident comes after Kennedy’s previous request for Secret Service protection was denied by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and a bipartisan committee in July. At the time, Kennedy had emphasized the existence of unique and well-established security and safety risks, including threats on his life, which prompted his request.
Kennedy, whose father and uncle were both assassinated, raised the issue of Secret Service protection once more in his statement, highlighting that he is the “first presidential candidate in history” to be denied such protection upon request. He expressed hope that President Biden would reconsider and grant him Secret Service protection.
Under the criteria outlined by the Congressional Research Service, major presidential candidates typically receive Secret Service protection during the primary elections. However, there are specific requirements that candidates must fulfill. After meeting these requirements, the Secretary of Homeland Security collaborates with an advisory committee, which includes a representative from the Secret Service, to determine a candidate’s eligibility for Secret Service protection.
Kennedy’s request for enhanced security has drawn attention given his family’s history and the need to address his unique security concerns in light of the risks he faces as a public figure.