The former NFL star endorsed by Donald Trump has reportedly talked in the past, before his campaign, about packing a firearm during his time with Georgia’s Cobb County Police Department — and has claimed he was an FBI agent.
Neither the police department nor the FBI has any record that Walker ever worked for them, according to the newspaper.
Yet Walker claimed in a 2017 speech: “I’ve been in criminal justice all my life,” the Journal-Constitution reported.
In 2019 he reportedly said at a speech to soldiers at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state: “I spent time at Quantico at the FBI training school. Y’all didn’t know I was an agent?”
In 2013 at a suicide prevention event for the Army, Walker said he “worked in law enforcement, so I had a gun. I put this gun in my holster and I said, ‘I’m gonna kill this dude,’” according to the newspaper. (He was apparently referring to an incident in 2001 when he took a gun to chase a man who was late delivering a car. He said he sought mental health treatment afterward.)
According to the Journal-Constitution, Walker’s campaign biography says he majored in criminal justice during his time at the University of Georgia (though didn’t graduate) and was an honorary deputy in Cobb County and three other unnamed Georgia counties.
The Cobb County sheriff’s office couldn’t confirm he was an “honorary” deputy. But even if he had such a voluntary title, it’s “like a junior ranger badge,” former DeKalb County District Attorney J. Tom Morgan told the Journal-Constitution. Walker would have had no law enforcement authority, Morgan said.
When asked to clarify Walker’s law enforcement claims, his campaign sent an Associated Press article saying that he had spent a week at the FBI training school in Quantico doing target practice and running the obstacle course. A college degree and at least 20 weeks at Quantico are required to become an agent, the newspaper said.
Walker does have a law enforcement connection from 2001 when he threatened a shootout with cops responding to a domestic disturbance at his home, according to a police report, the Journal-Constitution noted.
Walker has stopped mentioning his law enforcement experience since he launched his campaign.
The candidate, who is running against first-term Sen. Raphael Warnock (D), has suddenly found himself immersed in controversies since he won the Republican primary and landed in the higher-profile general election.
Earlier this month, a political action committee triggered a backlash when it campaigned for Walker at a downtown Atlanta gas station while handing out $25 fuel vouchers. A volunteer claimed it was Walker’s idea, even though federal law prohibits such a relationship between a candidate and a PAC.
It’s a felony in Georgia to pay for votes or bribe voters. The state’s voting law even bans volunteers from handing out water to voters while they’re waiting in line at the polls.
Walker was recently targeted in a Warnock campaign ad that featured Walker’s boast that he had a magic mist that could “kill” COVID-19.
“Is he ready to represent Georgia?” asked the ad.