Sheriff Chews Out Dem Lawmaker Who Interfered with Deputy's Stop of a Black Driver


A Maryland sheriff criticized a County Council member who he said interfered in a traffic stop and jeopardized a deputy’s safety in the process.

Frederick County Sheriff Chuck Jenkins denounced Councilman Kai Hagen’s actions in a Wednesday radio interview, according to The Frederick News-Post.

“Hagen, you had absolutely no business to interfere with the lawful duties of a deputy,” Jenkins said.

“He made a traffic stop based on a violation, a clear violation. It was none of your concern to stop with.”

The deputy had pulled the driver over on a tag violation and was talking to the driver when Hagen approached the vehicle.

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According to Jenkins, the deputy recognized the Democratic council member and told him he couldn’t stay and was blocking traffic.

Hagen reportedly refused to leave until the driver confirmed he was alright.

“This is outrageous. Who in the hell does he think he is?” Jenkins said of the council member.

Hagen, who is white, called in during the interview and said he stopped his car alongside the traffic stop because he noticed the driver was black.

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“My wife and I were driving up Route 15. We noticed that a deputy was pulling over a car that wasn’t speeding, so we didn’t know what that was all about, and obviously, it could be a lot of different things,” Hagen said.

“And as we drove past … we noticed that it was a black driver,” he said.

The sheriff asked the council member if he came back because of the driver’s race, according to WFMD-AM.

“That was a consideration,” he responded.

Hagen then claimed there is local and national systemic racism in law enforcement, which the sheriff denied.

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“Kai, if there’s a racist on the line, it’s you, my friend,” Jenkins said.

“You are an embarrassment to Frederick County and the County Council,” the sheriff said. “The problem is the council can’t reel you in. They can’t control you. But guess what? If they refuse to do anything, this is my route. This is the way I have to go with it.”

In an email complaint to County Council leadership, Jenkins cautioned council members to “question [Hagen’s] judgement” after the incident.

“This inexcusable action by Hagen and total disregard for the law and the safety of all involved, demonstrate that he is unfit to serve as a council member and would make anyone question his judgement and decision making ability,” Jenkins wrote.

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith