Protesters surrounded police cruisers-not allowing officers to get out of their vehicles
Frederick, MD (RH) Sheriff Chuck Jenkins is reacting to last weekend’s protests downtown that resulted in a mob of people surrounding city squad years and prohibiting police from doing their jobs.
Jenkins said that his agency was not contacted for assistance, and he also said that he doubts Frederick Police had advance warning that protesters were coming to the city. Jenkins appeared on WFMD’s Morning News Express Tuesday.
“I didn’t hear about this specific problem until I heard it on the radio yesterday morning,” Jenkins said. “It all fairness to chief Lando, I think this protest just sprang up on them Friday night, we were not contacted for help, no.”
Lando appeared on WFMD Monday to discuss the developments. He said he was out-of-town and did not realize the severity of protesters surrounding police cars until 24 hours later. Jenkins defended the decision by city police not to make any arrests.
“Our agency has had general conversations about how and when and what situations we are going to arrest,” he said. “We will arrest people when it comes to destruction of property, vandalism, any type of assault, our plan is clear.”
Jenkins said he is on board with Lando’s three-layered approach to handling protesters but admitted there is a fine line law enforcement must walk between the first and second stages of that plan.
“Again, it is situational, I can’t sit here and criticize what the Frederick City Police did because I don’t know how many cars were surrounded and how many officers were on hand. I do know that if you are surrounded by a massive group of people, your actions are limited until helps gets there.”
Jenkins said that he doubts morale within the Frederick City Police department is low. He said if it is, you can probably attribute it to the anti-police sentiment going on around the country.
Sources told WFMD News Tuesday that morale sunk to an at an all-time low following the incident on Friday night in which police were not allowed to make any arrests, a claim Lando refuted.
“We don’t police in the same environment that the Frederick City Police do,” said Jenkins. “If there is low morale, the way they are treated by the public is probably the overriding reason.”