MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A decision from the U.S. District Court District of Minnesota has barred Atlas Aegis from deploying armed agents at Minnesota polling locations.
The court’s decision stems from a lawsuit filed by the Council on American-Islamic Relations-Minnesota and the League of Women Voters of Minnesota against Atlas Aegis, described as a private security company run by veterans and based in Tennessee.
The company’s chairman, Anthony Caudle, is also named in the lawsuit, along with several “John Doe” parties, which include an unknown Minnesota-licensed private security firm that allegedly contracted with Atlas Aegis.
The lawsuit was filed following a reports in early October that the group was seeking a “large contingent” of recruits, including former special forces, “to make sure that the Antifas don’t try to destroy the election sites.” The lawsuit alleges the actions will result in voter intimidation.
U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Brasel’s decision Thursday orders the company, Caudle and other defendants not to deploy, or threaten to deploy, agents within 2,500 feet of Minnesota polling places during early in-person voting and on Election Day. The decision also orders the defendants from “intimidating, threatening, or coercing voters in connection with voting activities in Minnesota.” The order takes effect immediately.
Last week, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison reached a settlement with the group, in form of an assurance of discontinuance, following an investigation. Atlas Aegis admitted that they sought security officers to work at the private property of clients around Election Day, but not at or near polling places.
Atlas Aegis agreed not to provide any protective agent services in Minnesota from now until Jan. 1, 2022. Violations of the settlement would result in a $50,000 penalty. The assurance of discontinuation did not include Caudle.