A man was filmed being pushed to the ground by security guards for Senate hopeful Rep. Val Demings (D-FL) at a campaign event this month. The incident occurred at Harry T. & Harriette V. Moore Memorial Park during Demings’ visit to supporters. It is likely that the victim was trying to gain information about the Demings campaign while wearing a video tracker.
Demings is campaigning for the Senate seat and will be facing incumbent Republican Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) in a tight Senate race. In a footage obtained by Florida Politics, we can see two individuals pushing the man at a meet-and-greet event in Mims. Senator Demings attended the event at Harry T & Harriette V Moore Memorial Park, a public venue, but security did not allow the individual to enter. Brevard County law enforcement is investigating the incident
According to the report, the man was subsequently treated for minor scratches. “What are you doing?” asks the man pushed to the ground. In a video, the victim – clearly surprised – employs an expletive as he wonders why the guards from the campaign tracker security team would resort to such measures. Demings officials supported the handling, reported Florida Politics.
“Security officials take potential threats and threatening behavior toward the Chief seriously,” said Christian Slater, director of communications for Demings campaign. “In this instance the individual did not respond to multiple requests to leave and charged at security personnel in pursuit of Chief Demings’ approaching vehicle.”
Republicans were swift in their criticism of Demings’ campaign over the incident. Demings, a Democratic congressman, will be facing Republican incumbent Sen. Marco Rubio for the Senate. “Every media outlet in America would have covered this if I had bodyguards like Pelosi puppet Val Demings does and they assaulted someone for trying to film me,” Rubio said in a tweet. The guards shown appear to be employees of Ardent Protection, a company hired by the Demings campaign. There are two people pushing the man down: Constantino Georgudis, who is an executive protection officer for Ardent Protection, and Wayne Bacon, the company’s vice president.
Another video of the meeting showed the man and the security officers engaging in additional dialogue. In a conversation with the man, one of the officers revealed that he had been working in security for 40 years, including 23 years in homeland security. “In corrections, I used to bounce people like you off their head in the jail,” the officer told the man who was tackled to the ground.
The man emphasized that he was “just doing his job” and commented that he “had been so good to you,” the video depicted. “Moving forward, don’t take it personal,” the officer asked. “Take what personal?” the man responded. “What’s going to happen to you,” the officer replied. The man’s injuries were described as being relatively minor scratches and bruises. According to Federal Election Commission filings, the Demings Senate campaign has spent $17,458 to conduct security services. A week before the event, about $1,000 was paid to the company.
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