Sheriff Jenkins

Frederick County Sheriff Chuck Jenkins

Frederick Sheriff Chuck Jenkins issued an apology and reached a $125,000 settlement in a lawsuit that accused the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office of racial profiling and wrongful detention of a Latina woman.

The Resources for Immigrant Support and Empowerment (RISE) Coalition of Western Maryland and Sara Haidee Aleman Medrano filed the lawsuit against Jenkins, his office, two deputies and Frederick County in U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland in July of 2019.

Medrano was pulled over by sheriff’s Deputy Brian Mothershead July 7, 2018, for a broken taillight, though her legal counsel said it wasn’t broken. While she and her family waited on the side of the road, deputies learned she was undocumented and contacted U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), though ICE agents didn’t come.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland provided legal counsel in the case, which argued there were violations of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964. As a result of the settlement, announced Thursday, the defendants will pay $25,000 to Medrano in damages and $100,000 for other costs and attorneys’ fees.

During that traffic stop, a second deputy, Randy Barrera, spoke with Medrano in Spanish, asking her about her citizenship status, the lawsuit states. Medrano was pulled over for more than an hour, the News-Post previously reported. Despite being undocumented, Medrano is still protected by the U.S. Constitution from illegal search and seizure by police, ACLU attorney Nick Taichi Steiner wrote in an email.

“Immigration violations are civil and should not be treated as anything criminal, so it’s inappropriate and unlawful for law enforcement to arrest someone on that basis,” Steiner wrote.

In a virtual news conference Thursday, Steiner called the taillight an excuse to pull over a Latina woman.

“Essentially, the sheriff’s deputies held her on the side of the road for no reason, no legal reason,” Steiner said.

Neydin Milián of the ACLU read a statement by Medrano on her behalf.

“It’s not right what they did to me. I believe there is racism within the police force,” she read. “It is not just what they are doing against Hispanic people. We are all equal in this country.”

In his written apology, Jenkins acknowledged Medrano was improperly detained by deputies who “had not been adequately trained” at the time.

“All Frederick County deputies have been properly trained and will continue to be trained in the future so that neither yourself nor others will suffer similar actions and circumstances,” Jenkins wrote to Medrano.

A spokesman for the sheriff’s office said Jenkins was unavailable for comment Thursday but planned to release a statement regarding the settlement Friday morning. On Friday, the sheriff did not issue a statement.

Also with the settlement comes a change at the sheriff’s office, according to the ACLU. There will be training put in place to prevent deputies from future racial profiling. Additionally, local meetings regarding the 287(g) program — which allows a police agency to work with ICE to inquire about someone’s immigration status — will be conducted publicly. Further, information on racial profiling and biased policing will be made publicly available, according to a statement from the ACLU.

Flor Garay, a leader with the RISE Coalition, said the sheriff’s office has exhibited a pattern of discrimination against immigrants of color, citing other instances.

In a separate lawsuit over wrongful arrest, sheriff’s deputies arrested a Latina woman on her lunch break in 2008. They questioned Roxana Orellana Santos and arrested her for an immigration issue, the News-Post previously reported. She was jailed for 35 days, attorney Brian Whittaker said. It took more than 10 years before the case was settled, resulting in an award of $100,000 to Santos and policy changes at the sheriff’s office.

The Santos settlement made it so sheriff’s deputies cannot detain or arrest people because of a civil immigration warrant and required training for deputies to understand that. The settlement and changes that came with it occurred after Medrano’s incident with the sheriff’s office.

“There are immigrants of color all across Frederick County who are being harassed by the sheriff’s office,” Steiner alleged.

To ensure the sheriff’s office follows through on Jenkins’ promises, Steiner said the RISE Coalition will continue to stay in touch with the immigrant community.

“We’re grateful that the sheriff’s office agreed to settle this case,” he said at the news conference. “We hope that similar misconduct committed by the sheriff’s office is a thing of the past, but we won’t stop holding the sheriff’s office accountable to the people of Frederick County. The immigrants in Frederick County are here to stay.”

Follow Mary Grace Keller on Twitter: @MaryGraceKeller

(84) comments

artandarchitecture

Sara Haidee Aleman Medrano, has illegally resided in Frederick with her daughter and grandchildren for 13+ years. In July 2018, when she was pulled over for a broken tail light, she asked for a Spanish-speaking deputy, because she doesn't speak English, and received one.  

She announced (through an interpreter) “It’s not right what they did to me. I believe there is racism within the police force."You know where you'll find no so-called "racism" Sara?  Back in El Salvador.  But, then again, they probably wouldn't cut you a $25,000. check for the inconvenience of being pulled over.  

Should Maryland be issuing driver's licenses to people who can't read, speak, or understand English? 

jth7100

Whether he means it or not, let's celebrate the profiling bad and good.

barrykissin

One of the most courageous things for a man to do is to apologize.

gabrielshorn2013

[thumbup]

KellyAlzan

Im for certain the apology was part of the consent order. And the apology just may have been written by an atty

gabrielshorn2013

Who cares who wrote it. He delivered it. BTW, most political speeches are written by professional speech writers. Are they any less credible? Hardly.

KellyAlzan

My response is to what was written.

gabrielshorn2013

No, it wasn't. The statement was that is difficult to apologize., which the Sheriff did. You expanded on the original post with your own conjecture, for which you have no evidence.

sdm817

Deport her. Illegal entry is against the law. End of story.

Awteam2021

Sdm817, even Justice Antonin Scalia ( a conservative Supreme Court justice) wrote in Reno v Flores that the courts have “well established … that the Fifth Amendment entitles aliens to due process of law in deportation proceedings. No one would consider him liberal. I hope racism isn’t mistaken as a conservative virtue.

threecents

AW[thumbup]

vodalone

You simps are out today huh?

FCSO are not DHS or immigration officials, immigration law is civil law, not criminal law, therefore it's not their job to interpret it or enforce it.

gjthuro

how right you are; the so-called Aclu defends a lawbreaker and our LAW enforcement folks have to pay her $125K of our tax $$$$$ and apologize to person who committed a crime ...so this is what American justice has become...a farce

KellyAlzan

No, it hasn’t “become”. It has always BEEN. Notice that the police agencies led by individuals with educations are not being sued for this........

C.D.Reid

So Pb, does the $25k this illegal alien got make her a "millionaire" like the $100k Santos got made her?

BornToHula2

Did you miss the part where law enforcement broke the law?

Awteam2021

I thought everyone is entitled to a fair day in court. The ACLU is an advocate for the disenfranchised. The American courts make the final decision what is just. Or are you one of those, so called ‘patriots’, spitting up there animal cookies because their leader lost, smearing human fetus throughout the capital after scaling the walls of the Capitol? No! American justice and American people aren’t like you. Deal with it.

ma23464

Sir I am a patriot and a supporter of individual rights, including the person in this article that was pulled over by the police. Just like many of those that protested in the capital True patriots Support the rights of all even those we do not align ourselves with.

Awteam2021

Sorry, I meant feces (human waste). Not ‘fecal’. There was good on both sides.

jloo

Illegal alien vs. noncitizen. Only liberals come up with this stuff. If I was in the country illegally, I think I'd want to be called an illegal alien. Noncitizen is like I don't even exist.

KellyAlzan

No. The constitution does. Take a class.

Awteam2021

What 🤔? Only liberals follow the constitution? The Fifth Amendment. All persons within the territory of the United States are entitled to the protection guarantied by those amendments, and that EVEN ALIENS shall not be held to answer for ... did our forefathers f-up?

BornToHula2

[thumbup]

bosco

Get used to it, jloo. The Biden Administration announced they want to use California as their model for government. That would include the sanctuary homeless encampment called San Francisco, whose board of supervisors came up with a list of PC terms for criminals, such as when they decreed:

"The supervisors want convicted felons to be called “justice-involved” or “formerly incarcerated” persons, or even a “returning residents.”

threecents

"Illegal alien" in a deplorably dehumanizing term. Even if you don't like people to be in the country illegally, there is not need to dehumanize them or minimize their value as human beings. Most of them love and appreciate our country more than we do.

ma23464

Can someone explain to me why police can’t ask a persons immigration status? Police can ask all kinds of questions, they can even lie to you. The best thing for a citizen to do is politely decline answering questions. Some officers can be forceful though and lie and say you must answer which isn’t true. So once again, what’s the legal premise that’s police can’t ask this one question when they can ask many other questions?

gabrielshorn2013

If she were undocumented, it would have been readily visible to the officer because the driver's license is looks different. There would be no need to ask. However, the story states that the officer called in ICE for a roadside stop, which he is specifically not allowed to do. I imagine there will be a letter of reprimand in his jacket that will affect his promotability and future salary increases. No excuse for that, hence the apology.

https://mva.maryland.gov/drivers/Pages/non-compliant-drivers-licenses.aspx

KellyAlzan

Many latinos have licenses from other states. Virginia licenses popular with latinos in the area.

gabrielshorn2013

She was from Maryland.

Awteam2021

Simply under the U.S. Constitution, the Fifth Amendment.

ma23464

The 5th Amendment does not prevent the cops from asking questions. They ask all the time, have you been drinking, do you have weapons or drugs.

Awteam2021

Ready comprehension class: The Fifth Amendment of the Constitution protects a person from being compelled to incriminate oneself by the government. In performance as an officer of the government you can’t ask, demand, or force one to declare ones citizenship. We are not Nazi Germany... If you discover weapons, drugs, or driving under the influence that would be justification to detain. Not ones race, nationality or residency. Like Grimes implied, he was trained well in getting around the law.

ma23464

Awteam2021 oh you are so ignorant and obviously do not live in the real world. The courts have ruled asking is not compelling. Police all the time ask people what they have done illegal. I did an internet search and I cannot find and answer to my question. If your so smart why don’t you find me a source explaining why it’s illegal to question ones immigration status.

phydeaux994

ma23464, look immediately below at my explanation, it gives you the reason why. The FCSO has now lost two expensive lawsuits for FCSO Deputies inquiring into a persons Immigration Status.

phydeaux994

Breaking Immigration laws, whether by aliens crossing our Borders illegally or by Americans hiring illegal aliens, which are both Federal offenses, can only be questioned or arrested by Federal Law Enforcement Officers. That is the job of ICE, who are Federal Agents. An exception to that is the 287(g) Jail Enforcement Program contract FCSO Corrections Bureau has with ICE that allows specially trained Corrections Officers in our Detention Center, under supervision of an ICE Agent, to interrogate EVERY person booked into the Detention Center as to their Immigration Status. If a person is found to be an illegal alien they have a detainer put on them, which means that AFTER the crime they were arrested for has been resolved by either conviction or dismissal, they will be held in the Detention Center until ICE takes them to appear before a Federal Court to resolve their Immigration crimes. To the best of my knowledge Sheriff Jenkins does not even know if they get deported or released back into the Community. If an illegal alien is convicted of the crime they were arrested for, they must serve their sentence in a U.S. Jail or Prison before they are turned back over to ICE for their Immigration crimes. And as a matter of fact, if an illegal alien’s arrest is a misdemeanor or is dismissed they are rarely deported because of the limitations of the Federal Immigration Court System to give them the Right to the deportation hearing they are entitled to by our Constitution. So the reality is, if an alien crosses our Border illegally, unless they commit a serious crime, they will remain here as long as they want to.

gabrielshorn2013

Exactly phy.[thumbup]

threecents

Oh wow, we have someone who is unfamiliar with the concept of profiling.

mrnatural1

That's a good question ma.

Anyone know the answer?

KellyAlzan

Quote:

“We’re grateful that the sheriff’s office agreed to settle this case,” he said at the news conference. “We hope that similar misconduct committed by the sheriff’s office is a thing of the past, but we won’t stop holding the sheriff’s office accountable to the people of Frederick County............”

And neither will the the FNP Lead Commenter and its loyalists, we won't stop holding that racist sheriff accountable.

I'm going to go after the aliens" - Sheriff candidate Charles 'Chuck' A. Jenkins

Piedmontgardener

Police stops based upon race are uniquely unconstitutional events. For the comments in here attempting to pat Jenkins on the back for the apology, that was a specific condition of the settlement, he had no choice in the matter. It's well overdue to retire him, the long list of egregious comments and actions of his personnel show a complete misunderstanding of what constitutional law enforcement for all members of the community is.

phydeaux994

As a historical note, in 2008 there was a separate ICE 287(g) Law Enforcement Task Force contract with the FCSO Law Enforcement Bureau that did allow, specially trained Deputies only, to inquire about the Immigration Status of people they came into contact with. Problem was, Sheriff Jenkins told ALL of his Deputies to inquire about Immigration Status and they were arresting Hispanics for minor offenses in large numbers. ICE warned Jenkins that that was Racial Profiling and to stop the practice. He didn’t and in 2012 ICE ended the Program in Frederick County for abusing it. So the FCSO has earned the reputation of bias toward minorities in the County.

KellyAlzan

Thank you, well explained.

And over the years, I have written on here many times about the 16 yr

Old from Honduras that was riding a moped on the golden mile that was deported indeed 287. And each time, people have told me that I’m wrong and it never happened. When

It did happen.

Awteam2021

Off topic but - A crisis is a point in time calling for a change, better or worse. Two suicides in a month within a small detention facility would qualify as a crisis. Not having the solution wouldn’t make the crisis non-existent. Processes should be reviewed so not to have suicides as a reoccurring tragedy within the facility.

KellyAlzan

Twice within a few weeks. And not to mention there’s been other suicide incidents at same facility. Clearly there’s a problem.

bosco

What's your plan to prevent ALL suicides at the detention center, PB?

KellyAlzan

Did I mention or state I’ve manifested a plan, bosc?

bosco

No, PB, that's why I'm asking. You raise the issue of suicides in the detention center and repeatedly make derisive comments about the sheriff - so I want to know how YOU would prevent ALL suicides at the detention center. Come on, if you are such a law enforcement expert, what's your plan?

threecents

My plan would begin with encouraging empathy. What is yours Bosco?

Frescobaldi

Historical facts. Thank you.

public-redux

The High Sheriff has failed to absorb a very, very important lesson from former President Trump: Apologizing and accepting responsibility makes you look weak.

Jim Hartley

The day after the Orange Vulgarian was elected I began a monthly contribution to the ACLU. I don't agree with all their positions but they remain a strong support of our democracy.

lewisantq

When we elect Fascists what do we expect?

C.D.Reid

When we elect "Fascists?" Yeah, yeah, yeah. Blah, blah, blah. [yawn] Zzzzzzzzzzzz...........

Frankle1

I don't like Jenkins, at all, but I am glad he personally apologized. I hope the training continues and the FPD can work on rooting out bias to serve all of the community equally.

NewMarketParent

@Frankle1

That apology is the bare minimum that could be eked out without blaming the victim for her own predicament.

shiftless88

Following so I can read what the Pb commentator has to say :-)

KellyAlzan

The comments on The Frederick Scanner Face page surprisingly really show the majority people’s distain for Trumpkins.

vodalone

And this is exactly why there is problem with local LE participating in 287(g) and pretending they are DHS. The enforcement of 287(g) is discretional based on the FCPD interpretation, now tax payers are left paying out the lawsuit because a bunch of yokel Frednecks or even worse white supremacist cops in the police department went to a Trump rally and got fired up during a time (2018) when immigration was in the forefront.

sdm817

Assuming a lot aren't you. You know what that makes you. It is obvious to everyone else.

vodalone

If anything the events of the last 4 years prove me mostly correct, I don't know what reality you're living in, but Nov. 3, 2020 and Jan. 20, 2021 should have been a wake up call to you to get a grip on reality.

NewMarketParent

@sdm817

Please stop gaslighting those of use who are smart enough to see what is in front of our eyes. Thanks and bye bye.

gabrielshorn2013

Vodalone, the current 287(g) program has nothing to do with the patrol deputies. The 287(g) program is done in the detention center, and anyone arrested and brought there is subject to the exact same background investigation as anyone else that is arrested. If it is found that the arrested person has an outstanding warrant, the jurisdiction issuing that warrant are called, and they then come and claim the fugitive. The same goes for an order for deportation, and ICE is called, regardless of where they are from. The program you appear too believe is in force ended over a decade ago.

gabrielshorn2013

I should have also noted that the Frederick County Detention Center is not only used by the Sheriff's Department, but also the Maryland State Police, Frederick City Police, and every independent law enforcement agency in Frederick County.

phydeaux994

Detainer totals from April 11, 2008 to May 31, 2020.

Frederick Police Department 1027 Frederick County Sheriff’s Office 389 Maryland State Police 207 Other* 111 Total 1734

Brunswick Police Department, DNR, Thurmont Police Department and the Frederick County Court Systems

phydeaux994

The ICE 287(g) Jail Enforcement Program contract is with the Corrections Bureau side of the FCSO and is operated entirely within the Detention Center and has NOTHING TO DO with the Law Enforcement Bureau side of the FCSO which employs the Deputies. There is NO ICE 287(g) contract with the Law Enforcement Bureau side of the FCSO. It is against the law for a Deputy or any other Law Enforcement Officer from any PD to inquire about Immigration Status. These FCSO Deputies broke the law and it cost the FCSO $125,000. You can read a very detailed explanation of what the 287(g) Program can and cannot do on the FCSO Website.

gabrielshorn2013

👍👍👍phy

vodalone

I know very well what the program is supposed to be. The problem is when the FCSO decides to participate in such a program and has a sheriff like Jenkins some officers, not all, see that as a green light to play ICE while on patrol. I have no doubt in my mind that's what happened in this case with the officers involved, it's a simple matter of putting 2 and 2 together.

threecents

Yah, the point is that this would not have happened if the Sheriff had not signed up for the ICE program.

gabrielshorn2013

That may be your opinion Vodalone, but it does does not involve the 287g program unless the offense is "arrestable", and the arrested is brought to the detention center for processing. Traffic moving violations are not arrestable unless it is a DUI, or other serious violations. Broken tail lights or speeding do not rise to that level.

KellyAlzan

Glad you said it Vod. You are correct.

We all know what the 287 program is. That, and for the last 12 months Gabs has written at least 274 times what the program is and is not, and each time she has done so as if it’s the first time doing so. And each time she has failed to understand the point in others mentioning 287.

The FCSO has never has ANY issues involving 287 UNTIL Trumpkins came onboard with 287. Period. It doesn’t matter if 287 has been dead in the water for the last 5 years or last century. There was never any issues with Latinos until 287 came into the picture. FCPD, MSP, brunswick PD, none of them have issues deriving from Latinos, and they aren’t a part of 287. But FCSO has had issues.

The news story is who brings up 287. It mentions 287. The FNP commenters didn’t bring it up. The news story did. There is a reason why 287 is part of the story.

We the people, we don’t need a lecture or class on 287. It’s the deputies, and I suspect at the urging of Sherf Trumpkins who need the lecture and class. You don’t lose lawsuits for playing by the rules. You don’t lose high court appeals for doing your job.

When Trumpkins very first ran for sheriff, his exact promise, and I quote word from word “I’m going to go after the aliens”. And that’s why 287 appealed to him. And in attempt to live out that promise, that’s how we all became aicquainted with Roxie Santos and this other lady.

287. Incited Trumpkins to compel the deputies to play ICE. His campaign promise has not been forgotten.

KellyAlzan

true story, Three. Others can bark all they want. Very true. The adopting 287, whether it’s a jail thing or a patrol thing, doesn’t matter, is what has gotten Trumpkins in hot water.

KellyAlzan

”Additionally, local meetings regarding the 287(g) program — which allows a police agency to work with ICE to inquire about someone's immigration status — will be conducted publicly.”

It says police agency. Doesn’t mention deten ctr.

Bingo. There you have it. Deputies saw or discovered a Latina. And because of 287, they did what they did that caused them to be sued. All because of 287. 287. Two. Eight. Seven.

gabrielshorn2013

Yeah Plumbum, let's not let easily verifiable facts get in the way of your personal vitriolic vendetta against the Sheriff. I'm just wondering what he busted you for that you would go on such an irrational tirade. As previously stated, the 287g program that you erroneously refer to has not existed in Frederick County for over a decade. The 287 g program as it exists is used only in the detention center for those that have been arrested for "arrestable" offenses, and again, that is a matter of public record. It applies to ALL arrested. Are the State Police, Frederick City Police, and other independent law enforcement all in on the plot, since they all arrest offenders (as phy showed above) that are held st the detention center? Why do I post as if this is the first time? Because you continue to post this nonsense, repeatedly. As I told you before, you lie, I reply.

Awteam2021

“ Traffic moving violations are not arrestable unless it is a DUI, or other serious violations.” So why would a deputy take it upon himself to contact ICE over a broken tail light unless he thought he had the authority to do so? Rightfully or wrongly, I bet he thought he had the authority under the 287g program.

KellyAlzan

Aw and thats exactly what happened and what was happening. it was incited into the deputies that they were / are ICE Agents. And it was incited into them by Trumpkins.

vodalone

@gabriel. I wouldn't say that's my opinion, like I said it's a simple matter of putting 2 and 2 together given the circumstances of this situation. It's irrelevant if the FCSO officers pulling the woman over and making her wait was caused by bad training, lack of training, or the officers having an inflated sense of authority (playing ICE). What is relevant is the FCSO participation in the 287g program along with Jenkins close ties to Trump creating an environment where the officers felt entitled enough to target a hispanic woman and be a-holes to make themselves feel better or prove some point. It was a passive aggressive move at the least.

threecents

[thumbup]Voda, No reasonable person would disagree with you.

NewMarketParent

Yay! Do you feel your tax dollars hard at work having to pay back for injustice? As taxpayers, we are all responsible for the damage done to this woman's life.

Whatsup

And she received an apology, expenses paid, additional training and some extra coin in her pocket. Life goes on.

BigAl

and undoubtedly, were she your mother you would be completely satisfied with the result, correct?

NewMarketParent

@Whatsup

You seem to have a really easy time dismissing someone else's pain and suffering. I imagine that you wouldn't like it if a leopard ate YOUR face.

Dwasserba

And she may have been a citizen just.like.anyone.else, so you'd have been ok with going through this. She only got $25k of it, but helping lawyers is high on taxpayer goals, so we're good.

Rockfish

Sorry but I'm not accepting responsibility for what happened to this woman. Keep in mind your opinion is only that, an opinion.

Awteam2021

... and that’s why it’s called the ‘opinion section’ of the paper 📝.

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