Plummer was one of nine children and played football in high school in Washington, D.C.
On July 27, 1976, Plummer scaled the White House fence, armed with a piece of pipe. While advancing towards the White House, he was ordered to stop by a Secret Service officer. After ignoring the order, he was shot by a rookie officer, and died 90 minutes later in hospital. He was the first known shooting victim on White House grounds. It is unknown whether Plummer intended to attack President Gerald Ford or had another motive.
Plummer was an African-American decorated Army veteran and former high school football star who had recently undergone a divorce and a separation from another relationship. He was on one year's probation for an indecent exposure charge at the time of his death and a psychiatrist had posited he had impulsivity issues stemming from marital problems. His father had also pressed assault charges against him in 1972 and then dropped them. His employer said he was "apolitical" and "quiet". Co-workers described him as "nice" and "quiet" and one of them felt Chester Plummer may have been looking for a way to commit suicide. His father said he felt favorably toward President Ford. His was the fifth major intrusion onto White House grounds during Ford's presidency. President Ford was in the White House at the time Plummer was shot.
- White House Intruder 'Inclined to Act Impulsively' Lakeland Ledger, July 27, 1976
- U.S. News & World Report. U.S. News Publishing Corporation. 1976.
- Philip H. Melanson (2005). The Secret Service: The Hidden History of an Enigmatic Agency. Basic Books. pp. 139–. ISBN 978-0-7867-1617-3.
- Dead Intruder Had History of Rash Behavior, The Miami News, July 27, 1976, p. 3A,
- Perlstein, Rick, Culture of Fear: Miriam Carey’s Tragedy, and Our Own, The Nation, October 4, 2013, accessed October 6, 2013
- "Vanderbilt Television News Archive - Plummer/White House Shooting".
- Black Cab Driver Killed as White House Intruder. Jet Magazine (Johnson Publishing Company). 12 August 1976. pp. 5–. ISSN 0021-5996.
- Public Report of the White House Security Review. Department of the Treasury. 1 January 1995. ISBN 978-0-16-048388-2.
- Chester Plummer is shot by White House Security Guard, NBC-news archives
- White House Intruder Gunned Down, The Age, July 27, 1976