Was “Assault” On Truckers Because Of A “Make America Great Again” Hat?
Olive Branch, Mississippi – The shocking video surveillance footage of the violent confrontation between Paragon Systems Inc. security guards and a husband and wife owner operator team, at a Mississippi food distribution center, has sparked serious questions and concerns from truckers.
Since the video’s release back in November, it has been watched hundreds of thousands of times on Facebook, YouTube, various local Memphis, TN, news outlets and on Transportation Nation Network. The September 11, 2018, incident at Metro Foods distribution center where owner operator team, Clinton and Shannon Kirker, are seen being wrestled to the ground and aggressively detained by more than a half dozen security guards, has ignited an outpouring of support for the couple.
Truckers have taken to social media and other forums to sound off and offer their opinions regarding how shippers and receivers should or should not be treating professional truckers. Some common themes and questions have emerged.
Was The Incident Fueled By Racial Or Political Bias?
Some were quick to surmise the incident occurred in-part due to racial or political bias on the part of the African-American security guards because Clinton was wearing what appears to be a “Make America Great Again” hat.
LET’S BEGIN WITH THE “RED HAT.” One of the common observations is pointing to Clinton Kirker’s red hat. Many have expressed their belief that the red hat Kirker is seen wearing is President Trump’s “Make America Great Again” hat from his successful 2016 presidential campaign.
This assumption is understandable since the quality of the video footage is not great and the camera is set at a distance too far to see the hat clearly. So, is it or isn’t it?
In an exclusive interview with Transportation Nation Network Clinton Kirker said it is not. The slogan on the hat is actually, “Make Trucking Great Again.” Kirker said it “is a business slogan for a wheel centering sleeve.” Kirker posted a picture on Facebook (above) of him wearing the hat in question.
The picture was taken at a Mexican food restaurant the night before the incident, Kirker told us. It is clear it is a Tru-Balance hat promoting what Kirker calls “a great product.” He added, “I am not a President Trump supporter, but I do respect the fact that he is the president of the United States of America.”
DID THE SECURITY GUARDS SAY ANYTHING INDICATING A BIAS? Because of the similarity of the red hat to President Trump’s campaign hat, many have also wondered if the security guards might have thought Clinton Kirker was a supporter of the president. Could this have helped light the fuse in an already tense situation?
Kirker told us, “It could have had a role in what happened.” However, he says the guards never said anything to him about his hat or made any racial or political comment during the confrontation. He also said he did not hear the guards say anything to each other about the hat.
Transportation Nation Network has made numerous attempts to reach out to Paragon Systems for a comment about the actions of their employees and has yet to receive one. We’ll continue to try.
Why Were There So Many Security Guards On The Scene?
Another common comment we’ve noticed is truckers wondering why so many security guards were on the scene that day. Most have noted that typically only one or two guards are working the security gate and shack at any one time.
So, why were there so many guards who seemingly descended on the Kirkers? According to a credible source with knowledge of the situation, but did not want to be identified, the reason so many security personnel was on scene that day was because Paragon Systems was conducting their bi-annual security training at that facility.
The muscular dark haired white man seen coming to the aid of the first few guards has been identified as Michael Selleck. The anonymous informant said Selleck is “the National Trainer for those Paragon contracts.”
According to the informant, Selleck was there that day to lead training courses for Paragon security personnel. “He’s the one who teaches them all that Rambo bulls— mentality.”
MORE TO FOLLOW…
Clinton Kirker is facing charges of “Disorderly Conduct-Interfering With Business” and “Assault,” but was recently offered a plea agreement by the prosecutor in the case. What was the offer and why did Clinton not accept it?
Plus, what are some trucking industry groups planning to do in a show of solidarity for the Kirkers?
Transportation Nation Network will have more on this and much more coming soon.
CAUGHT ON CAMERA: Shocking Video Of Truckers Being Brutalized By Security Guards While Picking Up A Load