A Maryland sheriff recently slammed a Democratic county council member live on radio for putting his deputy at risk by interfering with a routine traffic stop. Then the council member called into the show and the two officials got into a shouting match.
What are the details?
Frederick County Sheriff Chuck Jenkins, a Republican, was speaking on WFMD-AM’s “Mid-Maryland Live” on Wednesday, excoriating Councilman Kai Hagen for his recent behavior, which the sheriff argued put one of his deputies in danger.
“I’m enraged, I’m angry, I was livid when it happened, there’s no excuse for it, it’s unlawful,” Jenkins said of a June 20 traffic stop that Hagen interrupted.
A Frederick County deputy had reportedly pulled over a vehicle for a tag violation when he noticed another vehicle pull up nearby to question what was going on. The deputy reportedly first thought it could be an “ambush,” or a “setup.”
The driver of the second vehicle, who later introduced himself as a county councilman, allegedly refused to leave the area until the stopped driver, who was black, acknowledged that he was OK.
“This is outrageous. Who in the hell does he think he is?” Jenkins exclaimed, noting that Hagen could have been cited and arrested for his actions.
Then what happened?
Not long after that, Hagen called in to the radio station to offer his version of the story. During the explanation, Hagen confirmed that he had turned his vehicle around and circled back to the scene to question whether the stopped driver was doing fine.
“So you’re telling me that the reason you came back is because the driver of the vehicle is African American or black,” the sheriff interjected.
“That was a consideration,” Hagen responded.
The two then got into a shouting match about systemic racism and police brutality.
Hagen suggested that he circled back “because there are concerns” about police behavior toward black Americans, at which point, Jenkins shot back, “Bulls**t!”
Hagen acknowledged that the officer in this case likely didn’t do anything wrong, but condemned Jenkins for refusing to acknowledge that systemic racism exists.
“You don’t believe that there’s any such thing as systemic racism in — not only Frederick County but law enforcement in the United States,” Hagen charged.
“That’s correct. I do not,” Jenkins replied. “If there’s a racist on the line, it’s you, my friend.”
Hagen would later tell Fox News that he “has not apologized and has no intention of apologizing to the deputy for his actions.”
Jenkins noted: “His actions were illegal, interfered with the lawful actions of my deputy, and created a dangerous situation by placing the safety of that deputy and everyone else in jeopardy … Hagen should never have intervened in the stop whatsoever.”
According to the Frederick News-Post, Hagen, who served as county commissioner from 2006 to 2010, “announced in March his candidacy for county executive in 2022.”