Publication information
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Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Source type: newspaper
Document type: article
Document title: “Shooting Avoidable, Says Operative Griffin”
Author(s): anonymous
City of publication: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Date of publication: 8 September 1901
Volume number: 145
Issue number: 70
Part/Section: 1
Pagination: 7

“Shooting Avoidable, Says Operative Griffin.” Philadelphia Inquirer 8 Sept. 1901 v145n70: sect. 1, p. 7.
full text
McKinley assassination (public response: Philadelphia, PA); Matthew F. Griffin (public statements); McKinley assassination (personal response); Matthew F. Griffin; Secret Service (protecting McKinley); Samuel R. Ireland.
Named persons
Leon Czolgosz; Matthew F. Griffin; Samuel R. Ireland; William McKinley.


Shooting Avoidable, Says Operative Griffin


Local Secret Service Man Talks of Attack Upon President

     There was some comment in this city yesterday as to whether the attempted assassination of the President was due to any carelessness of those who were detailed to guard the Executive. Many seemed to think that greater precaution should have been observed.
     Local Secret Service Agent Matthew F. Griffin, when questioned concerning the probable laxity of the guard upon the President, said: “I believe that had a sufficient number of secret service men been in attendance upon President McKinley on Friday he would not have been shot.” Mr. Griffin is well qualified to speak upon this subject, as he has personally met the President, and has often been assigned to guard him. He was a member of the surveillance corps in 1896, at Canton, prior to the inauguration, and also at McKinley’s first inauguration at Washington and during the journey from his home to the capital.
     Operative Griffin said that while the President is shaking hands with a crowd in a public place those who are detailed to guard him keep a careful lookout for suspicious persons. “It is my opinion, and remember, it is merely an opinion, that the appearance of a man in the line with a handkerchief around his hand would have been noticeable and put the secret service men on their guard. Of course, agents are often handicapped by arrangements, and can’t always use all the precautions they would like to.
     “President McKinley, however, had absolutely no thought of any danger threatening him. He showed this by constantly walking about without any protection. It is probable that this is the reason why no detective was near enough to him to have ordered any suspicious character out of the line.”
     Secret Service Operative Ireland, who was near the President at the time of the shooting, and who grappled with Czolgosz after the second shot was fired, was formerly stationed in this city. This was two years ago. He is now located in the Rochester district.



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