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10/20/2017 1:01:18 AM
9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 9/26/2005 7:13:04 PM EDT
www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9494356/
part 2

President may have worn defective vest
Body armor company under investigation; Secret Service won’t comment


WASHINGTON - May 2002: President Bush attends a memorial for police officers killed in the line of duty. Under his jacket, he's wearing a Second Chance bulletproof vest, according to a company insider critical of the vest.

A year later, a California police officer wearing the same model vest is killed when a bullet penetrates his vest.

Sources involved in the case say the Justice Department now is conducting a criminal investigation into whether the company — Second Chance Body Armor — knowingly sold defective vests to the Secret Service, military and police. The company denies the allegation.

"It means that they put the president of the United States at risk, the first lady at risk, the Secret Service agents that were protecting him at risk," says Steve Kohn, who is representing the company whistleblower in the case.

A company whistleblower says the Secret Service bought possibly defective vests for the president, his detail and others. Another worker told NBC News her group made vests specifically for the president and first lady.

"To find that something could slip through, that possibly would not hold up to the test for which it was designed, it's scary," says Tom Kennedy, a security consultant with Vance International.

The sale occurred in 2002, only months after a top company research official warned that the vests could fail.

"I strongly believed that this was a threat and that some police officer could be killed," said whistleblower Aaron Westrick in a December 2001 deposition.

Westrick urged that customers be warned, saying "lives and our credibility are at stake."

But no warning was issued until after the officer in California died.

Monday, the Secret Service would not comment.

A lawyer for the company says it's cooperating fully with the investigation and denies wrongdoing. He says the vests were recalled as soon as the company confirmed there was a problem.


www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6504820/

PART 1


Bulletproof vests under scrutiny
Company denies knowing product was defective

NBC News
Updated: 12:48 p.m. ET Dec. 8, 2004

One policeman was shot dead and another seriously injured after bullets penetrated supposedly bulletproof vests they were wearing in 2003. Now NBC News has exclusive videotape suggesting the Michigan-based vest company — Second Chance Body Armor — may have known its product was defective before the shootings.

"A lot of people think I'm kind of stupid for doing this," says company president Richard Davis before shooting himself to demonstrate how well Second Chance's bullet-resistant vests work.

But last year, two police officers wearing Second Chance vests were not as fortunate. Bullets penetrated their vests — seriously wounding Ed Limbacher in Pennsylvania and killing Tony Zeppetella in California.
Story continues below ↓ advertisement

Now Zeppetella's widow is suing the company.

"I think they knew their product was faulty and they chose still to sell it to officers around the country and around the world, and as a result of that, Tony died," says Jamie Zeppetella.

Now, in a videotaped deposition obtained by NBC News, a top Second Chance research official says his firm did know — almost two years before the shootings — that vests could be deteriorating and might fail. But the company did not tell the public.

"I strongly believed that this was a threat, and that some police officer could be killed," says Aaron Westrick on the deposition tape.

In a December 2001 memo, Westrick urges that customers be warned, saying "lives and our credibility are at stake" and advising the company not to "continue operating as though nothing is wrong until one of our customers is killed."

And in a draft letter to the company's board in 2002, president Davis wrote that one undesirable option was to, "continue operating as though nothing is wrong until one of our customers is killed or wounded."

Davis now offers the following explanation for the letter.

"I had to write a very nasty letter to my own board of directors and really get them off their butts and force them into doing something," he says. "I said, 'my God, don't wait until somebody gets killed!'"

The company did continue tests, but did not warn the public.

After the police officers were shot, a National Institute of Justice test found Limbacher's vest had degraded by 30 percent.

Yet, Second Chance says both vests met federal standards and claims the same type of vest saved 39 police officers' lives.

The company insists it did not have conclusive tests proving the vests might fail until last fall — and then they immediately recalled all of them — months after the shootings.

Link Posted: 9/26/2005 7:28:15 PM EDT
Funny how this comes up now. I remember hearing about defective Second Chance vests about 8 months ago.
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 7:43:10 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/26/2005 7:44:06 PM EDT by WIgunnut]
Even though its quit possible the company sold defective vests to the secret service.....The secret service who purchased the vests obviously never tested a product they intended on putting on the President Of The United States and First Lady aswell as themselves.

Whos gunna pay other than the Law Enforcment/Civilians and Military Personal?...I dunno but it sure felt good to type it out....Doh!!
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 8:23:46 PM EDT
I'm sure that was last chance for 2nd Chance with the POTUS
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 8:29:27 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 8:35:10 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Troy:
The problem, unknown originally to the vest manufacturers, is that Zylon breaks down at a FAR faster rate then Kevlar does. Heat, sweat, grit, and so on can reduce a Zylon vest's effectiveness by as much as 40% in as little as a year. Unfortunately, Second Chance and other vest manufacturers had sold a LOT of Zylon vests, and it seems they dragged their feet in doing comprehensive "endurance" testing, and in issuing recalls.


The stuff had been used in sailboat rigging before it was used in vests and its short comings were well known in that application
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 8:35:36 PM EDT
Oh no.
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 8:35:55 PM EDT
It's all Bush's fault.
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 10:49:41 PM EDT
If it can get past the USSS, it's gonna get past any Level II vest.....
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 11:23:37 PM EDT

Originally Posted By www-glock19-com:
The stuff had been used in sailboat rigging before it was used in vests and its short comings were well known in that application



100% correct, there is no excuse for this, the data is out there. They dropped the ball big time
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 11:30:37 PM EDT
POTUS really wears a BPV??!

Link Posted: 9/27/2005 12:02:54 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ALPHAGHOST:
POTUS really wears a BPV??!




He and any other top level and highly visible government official would be insane not to.
Link Posted: 9/27/2005 12:27:19 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Mall-Ninja:
If it can get past the USSS, it's gonna get past any Level II vest.....



Exactly
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