Kenneth Tate lost his job without doing anything wrong.
Tate, 49, was a security guard for Professional Security Corporation and was on duty at the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, Ga, during President Barack Obama’s visit to talk about Ebola. Tate’s job that day was to run the service elevator for the President.
According to an investigation that took place after the president’s visit, the Secret Service found that Tate’s firearm violated their protocol. According to USA Today, former director, Julia Pierson, never mentioned it to the White House.
A week later, Tate was fired.
Tate claims that he got in trouble with the Secret Service for getting too close to the motorcade while trying to get a picture of the President. Professional Security Corporation told the New York Times that Tate’s recollection of the day isn’t what happened.
Tate told the New York Times that he spoke with the President and they shook hands before he escorted him upstairs. After the meetings, Tate said he escorted the president back downstairs to the limousine and attempted to take a picture after the President had entered the vehicle. Moments later, his bosses pulled him aside and the Secret Service agents took him into a room to question him. Tate said the pictures were of the limousine and the surrounding agents, but the Secret Service told him to delete his pictures. That day, his bosses took away his CDC badge and the following week he was fired.
Tate has not only lost his job, but was also painted in a negative light in the media. Foxnews.com’s headline for the story reads “Secret Service let armed man with arrest record ride in an elevator with Obama.” Fox news reported that Tate had been convicted of assault and battery. Even though the Secret Service clarified that he hadn’t been prosecuted, Fox News didn’t back away, quoting Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) telling the Washington Post, “You have a convicted felon within arm’s reach of the president.”
Chaffetz added, “His life was in danger.”
The President’s life was never in danger. According to Tate’s lawyer, Christopher Chestnut, who spoke with The Atlantic, Tate’s employer “had given him the gun just as they do every morning.”
The Secret Service not only failed the President by not checking Tate for a weapon prior to his encounter with him, but they also cost a man his job because they didn’t make their protocols known to him. Professional Security Corporation fired Tate for simply doing his job.