Private security contractor G4S has again been mired in controversy after it was revealed that the Orlando shooter, Omar Mateen, was working as a security guard for the company.
G4S is one of the largest private security firms in the world and boasts 620,000 employees who are mostly ex-servicemen from the US and the UK. The company has a presence in more than 100 countries.
The security firm released a statement acknowledging that Mateen had been working as a security guard in a retirement home that G4S had a contract with. This association started in 2007. G4S went on to say that Mateen was subjected to “detailed company screening” in 2007 and 2013, but there were “no adverse findings.”
This claim has been debunked by a former coworker of Mateen, who said that he had seen this coming as Mateen was always talking about killing people and appeared to be constantly angry with the world.
The coworker stated that he had complained to G4S about Mateen, but no action was taken and the private security contractor continued to employ him.
This is not the first time that G4S has improperly vetted its employees. In 2009, a former British paratrooper, Danny Fitzsimons, who was employed by a subsidiary of G4S, killed two of his colleagues in Iraq. An official investigation revealed that the company had failed to properly evaluate his psychological health.
In January 2016, after a BBC expose, five officers manning youth prisons that G4S had the contract to operate were arrested for abuse and neglect. G4S has been looking to offload this contract ever since.
Also, G4S was contracted to provide security for the 2012 London Olympics. However, it did not deploy sufficient guards and the army had to step in to meet the shortfall. It was also revealed that the security firm had overcharged the British Government.
When it was revealed that the Orlando shooter worked for the company, its stock dropped a massive 6.6 per cent.