History Repeats Itself (Almost): The Assassination Attempt on RFK Jr.

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In a bone-chilling event reminiscent of the not-so-long-ago assassination of Shinzo Abe, an assassination attempt on Democratic presidential hopeful Robert F. Kennedy Jr. unfolded outside a campaign event in a Los Angeles neighborhood. The harrowing incident prompted Kennedy and our platform to request Secret Service protection in a recent Action Alert, but it has failed to drive home the gravity of the threat to RFK Jr.’s life.

Here are the details of the incident and the subsequent arrest.

The Assassination Attempt on RFK Jr.

In mid-September 2023, a man by the name of Adrian Aispuro was arrested outside the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles, where RFK Jr. was delivering a speech as part of National Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations.

The 44-year-old man found himself in police custody after allegedly impersonating a US Marshal while carrying a loaded firearm and displaying US Marshal identification.

The arrest took place following a call to the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD). The caller reported Aispuro's presence, describing him as armed and in possession of US Marshal identification.

While the LAPD responded promptly, they skewed the narrative by saying Aispuro did not enter the theater, nor did he brandish his weapon or pose a direct threat to anyone inside.

Kennedy’s Reaction to the Incident

Kennedy expressed gratitude to Gavin de Becker for detecting and detaining the armed individual. The incident accentuates the risks faced by political figures, especially those in campaigns. RFK Jr.'s prior requests for Secret Service protection were denied by the Department of Homeland Security.

The haunting historical context, given the assassinations of Kennedy's father and uncle, deepens the significance of any threat to his safety.

A Stamp Saying “Denied” Denoting the Multiple Unsuccessful Requests for Secret Service Made by RFK Jr.

Protecting Presidential and Vice-Presidential Candidates

The Secret Service has established guidelines for the protection of presidential and vice-presidential candidates in the lead-up to the 2024 election. These guidelines deem "major presidential and vice-presidential candidates" as eligible for protection.

However, it is specified that such protection should be granted within one year before the general election. Protection more than a year prior is considered only under exceptional, case-by-case circumstances and in consultation with the committee, based on threat assessments and other factors.

Does the Assassination Attempt on RFK Jr. Necessitate Secret Service Protection?

The Kennedy campaign reiterated its concerns and requested Secret Service protection again in August, only to face another refusal. This prompted the campaign to make a third application in late September. At the time of writing this, RFK Jr. remains as protected as he was when Aispuro was arrested.

Wondering whether the hint of an assassination attempt on RFK Jr. necessitates Secret Service protection is like wondering the same for his father, Senator Robert F. Kennedy, and uncle, President John F. Kennedy. The time to ponder is long past, and it’s high time Kennedy gets the protection he needs.

Contribute to our efforts to put pressure on the Secret Service before Kennedy is faced with another, more serious threat.

Contact us for queries and concerns.

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