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Security guard sued, licenses scrutinized by state

6:08 PM, Apr 6, 2012   |    comments
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ATLANTA-- Nine months ago in Midtown, police say a security guard inexplicably opened fire on three women in a parking deck, killing one of them.   The guard, Nkosi Thandiwe, is charged with murder.

This week, the victims sued the security company he worked for.  The lawsuit says the guard's employer, Allied Barton, should have seen it coming. 

The suit says the security guard "assailed a visiting courier with racial epithets, and had to be physically restrained" in the month before he allegedly shot the three women.  Two weeks later, the suit says Thandiwe was spotted carrying a pistol, despite the absence of a permit.

On March 24, two security guards in DeKalb County shot and killed a young father, Ervin Jefferson.  Jefferson's family has demanded that police charge them with murder.  

Security guards are a commonplace sight in metro Atlanta.  Sometimes, providing well-armed muscle at potential crime targets, like banks.  Others, to maintain order on heavily trafficked property.

There are about a thousand licensed security guards in Georgia.  Those carrying weapons are required to be certified every two years-- get training, and undergo criminal background checks.  Security companies also require state licenses.

"Most companies in the state of Georgia do a terrific job," said
Tripp Mitchell, chairman of the Board of Private Detective and Security Agencies, which licenses security guards -- which, he says, will quickly pull licenses from rogues.

"However, just like any professions we are going to have some bad apples, we are going to have some rogues, and we try to prevent it,"

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