Deputy First Class Charles Jenkins Jr. is the name of the responding Frederick County Sheriff’s deputy who demanded Frederick County Councilman Kai Hagen (D) leave the scene of a June traffic stop near Thurmont, Md.
Jenkins Jr., incidentally, is Frederick County Sheriff Chuck Jenkins’ son.
Deputy First Class Charles Jenkins Jr’s June 20 traffic stop
On June 30, Jenkins Sr., the sheriff, joined WFMD’s “Mid-Maryland Live” in the radio station’s Frederick studios. He recounted the traffic stop incident involving Hagen and his son, Jenkins Jr., which had occurred 10 days prior.
On Sunday evening, June 20th, Jenkins said a sheriff’s deputy – his son, Charles Jenkins Jr. – initiated a traffic stop along Route 806 at Black Mills Road in the Thurmont area.
The sheriff told radio show hosts Tim May and Frank Mitchell that Hagen’s car pulled up to where his son was conducting the traffic stop.
Hagen’s wife was also in the car.
Mr. Hagen was elected to an at-large council seat in 2018. He previously served a term on the Board of County Commissioners from 2006 to 2010. In May, Hagen announced that he’s running for county executive in 2022.
Jenkins Sr. told the radio program hosts that when his son, Charles Jenkins Jr., saw Hagen’s car pull behind him, Jenkins Jr. thought he would be ambushed.
Hagen calls into the radio program
After a brief break in the program’s segment, Hagen called into the afternoon conservative radio show to explain his side of the story.
“My wife and I were driving up Route 15…we noticed that the deputy [Jenkins Jr.] was pulling over a car that wasn’t speeding. So we didn’t know what that was all about. Obviously, it could be a lot of different things,” Hagen said.
Hagen said he noticed the driver of the car was Black.
He said he drove to the next intersection, turned around, and drove back to where Jenkins Jr. was conducting the traffic stop.
“There was no traffic,” Hagen said, and “it was just getting dark.”
Hagen said he pulled his car behind Jenkins Jr’s police vehicle and asked if everything was okay.
According to Hagen, Jenkins Jr. told him that “everything is fine” and to “move along.” Hagen said Jenkins Jr. told him that he was “obstructing traffic.”
“I just want the driver to be able to tell me that everything is okay,” Hagen recounted.
Hagen said Jenkins Jr. subsequently approached the driver and instructed him to roll down his window and asked whether ‘everything is okay.’
The driver said he was ‘okay,’ Hagen recounted. He then left the scene of the traffic stop.
The sheriff said Hagen interfered with a “lawful traffic stop” and was ordered by the involved deputy – Jenkins’ son – to leave the scene “three or four times.”
Hagen, though, disputed Jenkins’ “three or four times” claim.
Mr. Hagen told A Miner Detail the deputy twice told him to move on from the traffic stop.
He said he was there, across the road, for less than 30 seconds.
Sheriff Jenkins never mentioned his son’s involvement in the traffic stop
No media outlet has reported the deputy’s name involved in the June 20 traffic stop, nor did Sheriff Jenkins reveal his son’s involvement in the incident.
FoxNews.com reported the June 20 incident involving Jenkins Jr. and Hagen.
According to Frederick County deputies who requested to speak to A Miner Detail on the condition their identities aren’t revealed, Sheriff Jenkins does not want the public to know that his son, Jenkins Jr., is a Frederick County sheriff’s deputy.
Eric Beasley’s commentary on the traffic stop incident
So there I was – enjoying a pleasant morning outside, preparing Ungovernable Acres for the fall harvest season.
A vehicle not from the United States Postal Service dropped a folder in my mailbox.
Inside the folder was a handwritten note.
The document below, left in my mailbox, awaited my review.
Frederick County Sheriff’s Office Chain of Command
This section is just an FYI.
The Frederick County Sheriff’s Patrol Division is organized into three shifts.
- Two corporals and one sergeant are staffed every shift;
- Above the sergeant is a patrol commander – the lieutenant;
- Next in line – the Captain of Patrol Operations.
The Frederick County Sheriff’s Office is organized akin to a battalion; Sheriff Jenkins essentially operates as the battalion commander.
Consider an Army unit.
I should know, considering that I’m an Army veteran.
How would the U.S. Army, or a government office, for that matter – or a private business – look upon a father-son relationship in the workforce?
First things first: You tell HR and go from there. Nothing outside the ordinary. It happens. You deal with it.
Transparency is the best policy.
Consider this context: Jenkins Jr. and Jenkins Sr.: The sheriff (dad) and the deputy (son). Son works for dad.
Also, take into context the politics between Jenkins and Hagen.
- Jenkins Sr. is a rock-ribbed, Donald Trump-loving conservative.
- Kai Hagen, a left-of-center progressive Democrat.
Jenkins, the Sheriff, seemingly for sport, unnaturally goes out of his way to politically irk Hagen and other Frederick County progressives.
This brings us to an essential question about the traffic stop incident.
Can the public trust Jenkins, the sheriff, to accurately and fairly recount the narrative of the incident between his son and Hagen?
Can the sheriff operate as an independent arbiter?
Is it possible for Deputy First Class Charles Jenkins Jr. to be treated fairly and equally by his father, the sheriff?
A Miner Detail certainly hopes so.
We cannot produce any evidence showing Sheriff Jenkins intentionally exaggerated the now-infamous traffic incident involving his son.
Even still, Sheriff Jenkins could have – and probably should have – revealed this minor detail – to the local press, to FoxNews.com, and especially in his letter to the Frederick County Council, which Jenkins called on Hagen to step down from his elected council position.
Nepotism inside Frederick County’s judiciary system
A Miner Detail has reported a series of stories about Frederick County’s Judiciary system.
It’s fair to believe that Frederick’s judiciary system – e.g., some of the local District and Circuit Court judges and some sheriff’s deputies – is rife with nepotism.
Judge Theresa Adams and Judge Scott Rolle
Frederick County Circuit Court Judge Theresa M. Adams currently employs Frederick County Circuit Court Judge Scott Rolle’s daughter, Devon Rolle.
Adams’ hiring of her Circuit Court colleague’s daughter violates the Maryland Court of Appeals’ anti-nepotism order.
The culture inside the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office
You’ll remember that Chuck Jenkins is enveloped in a lawsuit with one of his deputies.
Current and former Frederick County sheriff deputies often speak with A Miner Detail. The deputies say Chuck Jenkins cultivates a culture that is rooted in loyalty to him.
Jenkins’ friends in the Sheriff’s office, we’re told, are elevated based on their friendship with the sheriff – not on merit alone.
Inside Frederick County Sheriff’s Office, doing the right thing – even when nobody is looking: integrity – lands deputies in hot water with Jenkins Sr., which often results in deputies facing punishment, embarrassment, or nonlateral career moves.
Is the Kai Hagen traffic incident that big of a deal?
Do we only know about this incident because the deputy involved in the traffic stop is Chuck Jenkins’ son?
Was the incident and later the fallout nothing more than a way for Jenkins to score cheap political points against Councilman Kai Hagen, a Democrat running for county executive?
Hagen wrote a lengthy summary of the incident and issued a public mea culpa.
We think Hagen’s apology is more than enough. He owes Jenkins nothing.
If we compare Hagen and Jenkins’ character and integrity 100 times out of 100, we’ll stand alongside Councilman Hagen.
Frederick County Republicans are silent
Republican organizations hold the conservative sheriff in high regard.
Silence from the Republican Club of Frederick County.
Silence from the Conservative Club of Frederick County.
Silence from the Frederick County Republican Central Committee.
The Republicans of Frederick County are well aware that Sheriff Jenkins settled a lawsuit and publicly apologized for his department’s racial profiling.
The “family values” Party
Laugh out loud.
Do you want to know the worst-kept Frederick County secret?
Okay, this is a little bit gossipy.
Sheriff Chuck Jenkins has had multiple mistresses.
And multiple people, including sheriff’s deputies and well-known political figures, confirmed a late-night encounter between Jenkins and a “lovely lady,” they say, in the Walkersville Volunteer Fire Company parking lot.
The witnesses said Jenkins’ escapades happened inside his county-issued police vehicle.
For the first time, we don’t want to know those minor details.
Republicans – especially Frederick County’s Republicans – love to wear their values on their sleeves.
And if they want to be the party of principle (they believe this crap), then it’s time to stand up for whatever principles they have left – even if it means denouncing their favorite all-American, back-slappin’ good-ol’-boy sheriff.
I’m a former chairman of the Frederick County Republican Central Committee – yes, I admit that.
I choose to stand on my principles and beliefs.
My principles don’t stop when politics become inconvenient.
Eric Beasley is A Miner Detail’s deputy editor.
*A Miner Detail Editor Ryan Miner contributed to the story’s reporting.
Eric is a former officer in the Republican Club of Frederick County and Frederick County Republican Central Committee between 2015 and 2018. Former guest host on WFMD and showrunner on WTHU. Avid gardener and food preserver. Graduated from Libertarianism to Anarchism as the corruption level in the state requires us to start over from scratch.