Security company loses license to work in KC after investigation into illegal operations

KANSAS CITY, Mo -- FOX4 first told you about concerns with Force One Security in June after four of its security guards shot and killed a man outside of Yum Yum Bar & Grill in Kansas City.

Since then, FOX4 has uncovered other violations. As a result, the company can no longer do business in Kansas City, Missouri.

“Numerous and serious concerns surrounding Force One security and consulting" is mentioned as the reason the company lost its license in a letter from the KCPD Private Security Licensing Unit sent to Force One owner Lamont Semen and his attorney Susan Dill.

Those concerns summarized in a letter, dated July 27, when Force One was fined $5,000 and put on a 5-year probation after the fatal shooting involving four Force One Security officers while on duty at Yum Yum Bar & Grill at 24th and Hardesty.

Three of those officers have been criminally charged and were named in that letter.

Markel Pinkins was charged with second-degree murder; Christopher Jones, who was not licensed, was also charged with second-degree murder; and Leon Doniphan was charged with tampering with physical evidence in felony prosecution for hiding Jones' gun and lying to police.

Since that time, the Licensing Unit said officers have continued to fail safety testing at the pistol range.

Those are concerns two former Force One employees told FOX4.

"Training has always been an issue," former Force One employee Kevin McNiese said.

Another former Force One employee, Ashley Tedford, agrees.

"I would say protect yourself," she said. "Any company you go to work for, stand up for yourself and make sure you are getting the proper training because you can end up just like these two officers who are facing prison today."

Force One's revocation summary also states subsequent infractions contributing to the decision.

FOX4 Problem Solvers identified employees who say they were made to carry a gun on duty even though they were not licensed.

McNiese was one of them.

"I asked several times about getting commissioned and was actually told I was at a post that would not be checked," he said.

A recent Force One employee list obtained by FOX4 found five armed security guards who are not licensed to carry a gun, among other violations. Force One has been cited for licensing issues several times in the past.

FOX4 Problem Solvers also received an email, sent to Force One employees from Markel Pinkins' work email, showing he's back at work while awaiting trial for his second-degree murder charge.

On Sept. 18, FOX4 reported that Nathan Garrett, president of the KCMO Board of Police Commissioners, set up a task force to look into private security operations in Kansas City.

"Your reporting frankly shed light on a more tragic scenario involving private licensing and got my attention to be pointed about it," Garrett said.

One day later, Force One's license was revoked. The company can no longer do business in KC.

In all of FOX4's previous stories, we have reached out to Force One Security owner Lamont Semien to get his side of the story but he declined, finally threatening legal action and asking that we not contact him again.