Demonstration Held In Frederick Calling For Sheriff Jenkins’ Resignation

Protesters gathered in front of Winchester Hall.

Frederick, Md (KM) A crowd of more than 20 people gathered in front of Winchester Hall in Frederick Wednesday night calling for the resignation of Frederick County Sheriff Chuck Jenkins.

This follows the indictments of Jenkins and local gun dealer Robert Krop last week for alleged conspiracy and making false statements to obtain machine guns.

The US Attorney’s Office says Krop and Jenkins allegedly falsified documents to purchase  machine guns which would be used for evaluation and demonstration to the Sheriff’s Office. But federal officials allege both men knew that no demonstrations were to take place, and Krop intended to rent out these machine guns.

One of the demonstrators, William  Reid, said bringing machine guns to Frederick County is a concern for the Black Community. “If you bring these machine guns into Frederick, then you have a group of people who want to rent these machines guns. Who are these people? Are they militia? Are they White supremacists? Who are these people who are renting these guns,” he says.

Jessica Douglass, who is a gun violence prevention advocate, says there’s no need for these types of weapons in Frederick County. “Even if these charges don’t result in a conviction, he still has been bringing machine guns into out community, the community of Frederick, and they have no place here,:” she said. “There’s no reason for us to have any more AK 47’s or Uzis  in Frederick County.”

Sheriff Jenkins has also come under criticism for the Department’s participation in the federal 287g program which lets correctional officers determine the immigration status of those individuals brought into the Detention Center. If they’re here illegally, they could be deported. Critics say the Sheriff’s Deputies target some individuals for minor offenses based on their looks  so that they can be deported, something Jenkins denies.

“I’m been stopped for going too slow many times here in the county by the Sheriff’s,” says Roberto Juarez with the RISE Coalition. “So we need a change. We need someone to step in who cares about public safety.”

Juarez urged those at the demonstration to show up at a County Council meeting on Tuesday to urge elected officials to call for Sheriff Jenkins to resign.

After his arraignment Wednesday in federal court in Baltimore, Jenkins issued a statement saying he was taking a leave of absence at  of the close of business on Friday.   Chief Deputy Colonel David Benjamin will take over the job. He’s a 37-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office.

By Kevin McManus