Last month’s Orlando gay nightclub shooting proved the deadliest in national history, and prompted a flurry of fierce debate on what to do to address issues of terrorism, homophobia and access to firearms. Another less widely covered issue was that of security guard screening, and it’s relevant to injury lawyers who handle Florida premises liability lawsuits.
The 29-year-old gunman who killed 50 and injured 53 at Pulse was identified by officials as Omar Mateen, a U.S. citizen whose father was native to Afghanistan. Mateen worked as a security guard for a company called G4S Plc. It’s a British company with clients in more than 100 countries, including the U.S. He had been employed by the company since 2007. The company’s U.S. headquarters is in Jupiter, FL and it employs some 611,000 people globally in prisons, airports, ports, cash transport services and more.
After the shooting, questions arose regarding to what extent Mateen was screened. We know that he, along with every other armed guard in Florida, has to be certified officially as mentally and emotionally stable. But how exactly is that done? According to Security Info Watch, an industry publication, there was no point at which a psychologist ever sat down and reviewed his records or talked to those who knew him or even interviewed him face-to-face. The determination for who is “mentally and emotionally stable” is done with a written personality test that is standard for all guards. These tests offer a host of true-false questions that are then assessed by a contracted psychologist. Continue reading →