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Union of Murdered Guard Wanted Protective Vests

06/12/2009 -The union of Stephen Tyrone Johns—the security guard allegedly murdered by white supremacist, James W. von Brunn—had lobbied Wackenhut Services, Inc. for bulletproof vests for security guards at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum,reports Fox News.

The Security, Police and Fire Professionals of America said the union lobbied security contractor Wackenhut Services Inc. for protective vests during contract negotiations two years ago, the Post reported.

But the company-bought vests weren't provided, even though Wackenhut seemed in favor of the proposal, the union's Washington district director Assane Faye told the Post.

"I hammered this in our negotiations two years ago because of how sensitive that museum is," Faye said. "Our guards needed more protection."

One of the museum's guards had been "verbally assaulted by one guy walking by, saying anti-Semitic remarks," Faye told the paper. "For that reason, I made that the center of the negotiation."

Wackenhut spokeswoman Susan Pitcher declined to comment on the matter.

In related news, The Washington Post reports that museums in the district increased the visibility of their security yesterday in the aftermath of the shooting. As the Post points out, museum security can be difficult because "an armed presence and checkpoints seem to go against the museum culture of being safe and open destinations for accessing beauty, education and entertainment."

For more on life of slain security guard Stephen Tyrone Johns, who a friend described as a "care bear," clickhere.

Photo byuberzombie/Flickr