Armed man arrested at RFK, Jr. campaign event in Los Angeles

AP Photo/Jeff Roberson

An armed man was arrested at a campaign event for Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. in Los Angeles on Friday. He was detained as he approached the candidate by Kennedy’s private security team.


The arrest came before Kennedy delivered his speech to the Hispanic community at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles Friday night. September is Hispanic Heritage Month.

The man was impersonating a member of Kennedy’s security team. Kennedy posted on X (formerly Twitter) about the incident after the event.

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 at my Hispanic Heritage speech at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles tonight. The man, wearing two shoulder holsters with loaded pistols and spare ammunition magazines was carrying a U.S. Marshal badge on a lanyard and beltclip federal ID. He identified himself as a member of my security detail. Armed GDBA team members moved quickly to isolate and detain the man until LAPD arrived to make the arrest. I’m also grateful to LAPD for its rapid response.

I’m still entertaining a hope that President Biden will allow me Secret Service protection. I am the first presidential candidate in history to whom the White House has denied a request for protection.


That is scary stuff, given Kennedy’s family history. He’s not just any other presidential candidate when it comes to something as important as his security detail. His father was assassinated just blocks away from where this guy was arrested. LAPD is in charge of investigating the case, not the FBI. The first comments from LAPD downplayed the seriousness of the incident. They claimed the man didn’t appear to be threatening Kennedy or anyone else but he was armed. Kennedy’s tweet said the man was wearing two shoulder holsters with loaded pistols and carried spare ammunition. He was also carrying a U.S. Marshal badge on a lanyard and federal ID on a belt clip. This doesn’t look like some kind of innocent mistake.

Fortunately, according to Kennedy, members of the Gavin de Becker and Associates (GDBA) team stopped the man as he approached Kennedy and detained him.

Kennedy has been denied Secret Service protection by the Biden administration. He is challenging Joe Biden for the Democrat nomination for president. Kennedy requested Secret Service protection but DHS refused his request. DHS Secretary Mayorkas said in July that Kennedy did not warrant Secret Service protection “at this time.” He claims the election is too far out now. Typically, presidential candidates are provided with Secret Service protection 120 days out from the general election. However, that general rule has been adjusted in the past for some candidates. For example, Barack Obama was granted protection by the GW Bush administration in the spring of 2007. Ben Carson was granted protection by the Obama administration in the summer of 2015. The truth is the assassination of Kennedy’s father is the reason candidates receive this protection.


It looks petty and vindictive that the Biden administration refused Kennedy’s request for protection. Biden is far ahead of Kennedy in polling but he is Biden’s strongest challenger and shows no signs of dropping out before the primaries begin. He’s a Kennedy and the son of one Kennedy who was assassinated. His request was not something that should have been denied.

In July Kennedy posted about Mayorkas denying his request for protection.

“Since the assassination of my father in 1968, candidates for president are provided Secret Service protection. But not me,” Kennedy wrote.

Kennedy said he received a message from Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas that read, “I have determined that Secret Service protection for Robert F Kennedy Jr is not warranted at this time.”

“Our campaign’s request included a 67-page report from the world’s leading protection firm, detailing unique and well established security and safety risks aside from commonplace death threats,” Kennedy said.

There is no excuse for the Biden administration to turn down a special request from a candidate with this kind of personal history. It does make his situation unique. The Biden administration may want to ignore him and shut him out from the DNC primary process but the fact remains that he is in the race and he has supporters. He has reached 20% in some polls. That is enough to screw up Biden’s cruise to the Democrat nomination if Kennedy continues to gain support.


Time for Mayorkas to get off his high horse and do his job for a change. Provide Secret Service protection to Kennedy. Next time he may not be so lucky.

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