Herschel Walker Lied About Being a Cop and It Won't Matter
The realities of our political moment.
1. But Gas Prices!
One of our recurring themes is how the nature of the two parties’ coalitions leaves them with different levels of vulnerability to both candidate quality and perceptions of “overreach” and “radicalism.”
U.S. Senate candidate Herschel Walker regularly praises police officers. But was Walker in law enforcement himself?
In at least three speeches delivered before he entered politics, Walker claimed he was, the AJC’s Shannon McCaffrey reports.
“I 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,’” Walker said at a 2013 suicide prevention event for the U.S. Army. (Walker was describing a 2001 incident when he took his gun to pursue a man who was late delivering a car. That incident, Walker said, led him to seek mental health treatment.)
In a 2017 speech, Walker got more specific. “I work with the Cobb County Police Department, and I’ve been in criminal justice all my life,” he said.
Later, in 2019, he said he was an FBI agent. “I spent time at Quantico at the FBI training school. Y’all didn’t know I was an agent?” he said at a speech to soldiers at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington.
And he also once told Irving, Tex. police he was “a certified peace officer,” according to a 2000 police report involving a conflict with an intoxicated man.
So, what’s the real story? Walker’s campaign said he majored in criminal justice during his time at the University of Georgia and was an honorary deputy in Cobb County along with three other Georgia counties. (They did not specify which ones.)
The Cobb County Police Department said they have no record of involvement with Walker. The Cobb sheriff’s office could not immediately say if he was an honorary deputy or not.
But former DeKalb County District Attorney J. Tom Morgan said even if he was, that would give him no law enforcement authority. “It’s like a junior ranger badge,” he said. . . .
Walker was also never an FBI agent, which would require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. Walker left UGA before earning his degree.
Asked to clarify, the Walker campaign provided Associated Press stories from 1989 – as Walker was retiring from pro football – when he said that he spent a week at an FBI school in Quantico, Virginia. Special Agent training requires a minimum of 20 weeks at Quantico. . . .
The FBI did not respond when asked to verify the account.
Walker’s direct relationship with law enforcement has not always been smooth. In September 2001, he threatened a shootout with officers responding to a domestic disturbance at his Texas home, according to a police report.
This is the point where I wave my hands in the air and shout something like, “How could any group of voters, anywhere in America, send this guy to the U.S. Senate?”
This can’t be real, right? But baby, it’s as real as it gets:
My friends often tell me that you can’t expect voters to care about stuff like candidates impersonating law enforcement, or playing Russian Roulette, or assaulting women, because gas is $5 a gallon and what voters really care about are kitchen-table issues. And I guess that electing Herschel Walker to the United States Senate will