*What should’ve been a high point in the career of Kenneth Tate turned into “a nightmare” after he was fired for taking a picture of President Barack Obama.
According to reports, Tate, a 49-year-old security guard for Professional Security Corporation, was terminated about a week after the incident, which took place during the Obama’s visit to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Tate was assigned to accompany the president during his visit to the CDC’s Atlanta headquarters seven weeks ago for a briefing on the Ebola epidemic, the New York Times reports, adding that an investigation conducted shortly after the visit revealed that Tate was carrying a CDC-issued firearm, a violation of Secret Service protocols — and a security lapse that the agency’s director at the time, Julia Pierson, never mentioned to the White House.
In carrying a weapon, Tate stated he was following company protocol. His job that day involved running the service elevator for the president.
“All of us had weapons … No one told us anything about (that) we weren’t supposed to have our weapons,” he told WXIA.
Following recent conversation and doubts over whether the Secret Service was failing in its basic duties, Tate’s situation further fuels the debate, which resulted in Pierson’s resignation.
At this time, Tate admits he hasn’t found another job and believes he is the real victim.
According to Tate, his attempt to get the cell phone photo of the president was made later, not onthe elevator with the president.
“I was shocked, I was trying to find out what was the problem, what was the issue,” he said. “I didn’t have anything and the detail was completed. All this stuff was out there that I was out there trying to take pictures and record them. That stuff never happened.”
Nevertheless, taking photos of the president and being too close to the motorcade ended badly for Tate, who was reprimanded by the Secret Service. At the time, Tate says he didn’t know he was doing anything wrong.
The Times notes that it got verification from Professional Security Corporation, which told the publication that Tate’s description of the events surround the incident is inaccurate. In addition, the paper talked to a Secret Service official, who said the inspector general’s office of the Department of Homeland Security was investigating the incident.
Although the Washington Post initially reported that Tate had been convicted of crimes, it ended up correcting the claim.