“Ethics Dunce” Is Not Sufficient To Describe Frederick County Councilman Kai Hagen

Frederick-County-Sheriff-Chuck-Jenkins-Frederick-County-Councilman-Kai-Hagen

What would be more accurate term? Well, “asshole” comes to mind.

A Frederick County deputy pulled over a vehicle for a tag violation on June 20 when he noticed another vehicle pull up nearby. The deputy reportedly first feared for his life, and that it could be a cop assassination set-up. But the driver of the second vehicle introduced himself as Democratic county councilman Kai Hagen, and he refused to leave the scene until the detained driver, an African-American, acknowledged that he was “OK.” County Sheriff Chuck Jenkins, a Republican, went on WFMD-AM’s “Mid-Maryland Live” last week to condemn the grandstanding Councilman.

“I’m enraged, I’m angry, I was livid when it happened, there’s no excuse for it, it’s unlawful,” Jenkins said. “This is outrageous. Who in the hell does he think he is?” Jenkins added, while noting that Hagen could legitimately have been cited for his actions.

Not could have been, should have. The deputy handled the matter badly, falling for the old “Do you know who I am?” trick. It doesn’t matter who the interloper was. He was interfering with lawful law enforcement.

Hagen then called in to the radio station to explain his conduct, confirming that he had turned his vehicle around and circled back to the scene to ensure that the stopped driver was all right when he noticed his skin color—you know, that he wasn’t being beat up, shot, having drugs planted on him, being made to sing “The Camptown Races” or having his neck knelt on, which we all know is what white cops want to do to blacks.

“So you’re telling me that the reason you came back is because the driver of the vehicle is African American or black?” the furious sheriff asked

“That was a consideration,” Hagen responded. More points for “asshole”: do you think Hagen does this for every traffic stop he sees, or just when he can burnish his credentials as an anti-cop, pro-Black Lives matter shill?

Then he shifted the topic away from his own indefensible conduct, as such shills are wont to do. “You don’t believe that there’s any such thing as systemic racism in — not only Frederick County but law enforcement in the United States?” Hagen shot back at Jenkins, who had just pronounced Hagan’s claim that he had legitimate reason to fear for the black motorist as “bullshit.”

“That’s correct. I do not,” Jenkins replied. “If there’s a racist on the line, it’s you, my friend.”

And indeed it is. Not racist, exactly, since Hagan is white, but he is a bigot, and and advocate of racism by others. The presumption of racism on the part of anyone is a major ethics breach, gouging fairness, respect, civic responsibility, and the Golden Rule. It has also become a primary theme of the ironic “antiracism” scam, in which racism is cynically employed to “end” racism.

Hagen aspires to be county executive, and obviously thinks his transparent posturing will win him votes by the Black Lives Matter enablers of his state, who are doubtlessly like the woman across the street from my house who has inflicted a 6×5 foot hand painted “Black Lives Matter” sign on the neighborhood for half a year. (Spuds peed on it last week, I’m proud to say.) The police in the County should announce that they will resign en masse should he be elected, absent a sincere apology for his interference with lawful police work.

An ethical Democratic party and an ethical public in Frederick County would demand Hagen’s resignation for his criminal act as well as the abuse of power and position it represents. Apparent Frederick County has neither.

28 thoughts on ““Ethics Dunce” Is Not Sufficient To Describe Frederick County Councilman Kai Hagen

  1. Hagen was grandstanding, no doubt about it. Do not most states estop civilians from interfering in any ongoing police behavior? Does a routine traffic stop require police tape surrounding the scene? I think Frederick cops shouls travel in two, or at least has cameras and a special walk-talkie code that says “Asshole civilian interfering. Officer needs assistance.

    Hagan’s lame excuse should get him elected dog-catcher.

  2. Obstruction of justice and interfering with police business aren’t just citable, they’re CRIMES. The officer would have been within his rights to lock Hagen up, although that would not have been wise.

    • I’m close but Frederick County and Washington county are in different galaxies in terms of wokeness. Hagan pushed to abolish the cooperative agreement with ICE. He is a nut job as is most of the county council.
      Given that I have no skin in Frederick counties affairs I am letting the locals do battle. I just want to make sure that ideology dies on Braddock Mountain before it gets to the county line.

  3. I hate to echo the media creeps who attacked teenager Nick Sandmann by calling his face “punchable” based on a single photo, but boy, if any face ever screamed “smug asshole,” it’s Kai’s shot above—and he APPROVED that one.

    • Agreed, but the Catch All-End All for punchable faces starts-n-ends with Frank Bruni (only the intervention of the…um…better angels of my nature prevented me from noting that when the opportunity arose) with Bill Maher a DAMN CLOSE second!

      Happy Independence Day to all y’all, and a special Hat-Tip to Spuds’ rare ability to discern deserving targets!!

  4. I think I’m missing something here. In theory, I think it’s fair and ethical for a person who is concerned about police accountability to stop at a distance and watch law enforcement talking to someone to make sure nothing untoward is happening. It’s a public space, and they’re watching out for people.

    Do you disagree with that premise, or is there something that Hagen did that invalidates that premise? Is it unethical because he is a public figure? Obviously there’s the distinct possibility that he did it for the virtue signaling, but does that mean he shouldn’t have done it at all? Would it have been ethical if he hadn’t announced his identity at all?

    (As I was typing this, I recognized one negative effect of Hagen showing up: the deputy was denied the opportunity to prove that he would act honorably towards a civilian with nobody else watching. Any exemplary behavior he displayed would be credited to Hagen showing up, not to the deputy’s professional character. It doesn’t allow for an opportunity to build trust. I do recognize that there are times where it is and is not a good idea to offer opportunities to build trust, and I don’t have enough information about the Frederick County community to know which of these situations it was. It’s just a consideration.)

    • 1) The car diving up and stopping by the two vehicles was a distraction to the officer, and distracted officers get shot.

      2) The police deserve, and indeed must have, the presumption of trust. Absent actual evidence that something is amiss—and a black motorist being pulled over is NOT such evidence—citizens have a duty to stay out of the way and let the police do their jobs without any interference at all.

      3) I do disagree with the premise, EC. In this case, it’s an implied insult. Second, the bystander isn’t qualified to “watch out for people,: especially since the act of picking this incident shows a bias. If I was directing a show, I would not welcome random onlookers who announced they were checking up on me. If I was doing an ethics seminar, some random nonlawyer, non ethics expert announcing that she was examining my work to see if everyone was “OK” would be viewed by me as an obnoxious interloper. Nobody wants that kind of sidelines critic while doing their jobs, which is why its a Golden Rule breach. If there is a reason for suspicion related to the onlooker’s job, that’s another case entirely.

      • Plus, the guy is county council person who presumably hires the sheriff who hires and supervises his deputies. So the council person is seriously screwing up the chain of command. It’s not his job to supervise the sheriff’s deputies, that’s the duty of the duly hired, retained and supervised (collectively by the county council) sheriff. It’s just really bad judgment on this guy’s part. He doesn’t seem to know his place in county government. Maybe he should run for sheriff.

        • I agree that he should not have stepped in as a council member. I think it would have been ethical if he had played the role of a random citizen, with nobody aware that he was a public figure, if he were really doing it out of the same civic concern for the community that led him to run for council.

      • 1) I agree. I reread the description of the situation and realized Hagen violated the premise I provided by approaching the deputy and the person he’d pulled over and engaging them in conversation.

        I don’t think he should have stepped onto the scene or introduced himself. I think the best case scenario would be for him to stop and watch without being detected, but I don’t think it would be possible for the deputy to not notice him pulling over unless Hagen had been too far away to see anything anyway. The next best case scenario would be to pull over and just watch from inside his vehicle.

        2) Now we’re talking about tradeoffs. It’s true that on its face, a deputy pulling a black person over is not an indication that anything racist or otherwise unethical is occurring. It’s also true that law enforcement as a concept doesn’t work unless people can trust that such things won’t happen.

        However, like it or not, instances of police corruption (isolated though they may be), amplified by the media, have damaged that trust. Aside from what I mentioned about behaving honorably even with no oversight, one way to build trust is to accept accountability. If police officers ask the public to look away from them, it creates the rebuttable presumption that they’re hiding something. That doesn’t apply to Hagen because he inserted himself into the situation, but I wanted to address your point about trust.

        3) Similarly, the ethical thing to do here would be for the deputy to accept the insult, even after Hagen stepped in. That’s what would build trust. (Granted, I don’t imagine law enforcement is taught how to build trust.) Having the luxury of hindsight, I dare suggest it might have worked to order Hagen to observe silently. Just because public servants are subject to public scrutiny doesn’t mean they should be second-guessed as they’re doing their job. The deputy could (and should) still castigate Hagen for trying to interfere with something he has no authority over and potentially making the situation worse.

        To sum up, Hagen should not have interfered with the situation, but he might have ethically observed it. Ideally, it would help build trust if police made it clear they would tolerate civilians observing (from a safe distance, and assuming they could afford to assume the situation would not become dangerous). I’m not actually sure how feasible that is in practice.

        Does that make sense?

  5. Everyone in the USA has a first amendment right to watch and also film the police anywhere in public when performing their duties so how close can anyone come to the police before they are interfering with law enforcement?

  6. Sounds very odd, but I’m not American. So the Sheriff was ‘enraged’, ‘angry’ and ‘livid’ that a passing elected Councilman stopped to check that what may well have been a constituent was being properly treated, and could confirm he as ‘ok’? In other places (ok I know the US is exceptional) we praise our elected representatives for being prepared to get involved. And you Jack want him to resign!? I must be on a different planet……

    • Elected officials who assume without evidence that their police are racists should resign. Such individuals lack judgment, fairness, competence and responsibility. That should be enough to disqualify a public servant on any planet.

  7. Sorry, not comprehending! The councilman is an elected representative surely? Just as ‘elected ‘ as the President. He is not a ‘public servant’’; he is a ‘representative’, and should be accorded respect. As you argued in respect of a recent President, the electorate has every right to select ‘assholes’, whether we like them or not. Plenty of Americans have indicated some concern at what they see as racial discrimination in the police force, so it should be no surprise to see such concern expressed by an elected representative, whether justified or not.

    • The point is that such concern can better be expressed (especially by someone in a position such as the county council, who has at least some official relationship with the sheriff’s department) in the proper venues, not by interfering with a traffic stop on the side of the road. Hagen injecting himself into the situation is gratuitous grandstanding, and potentially dangerous for everyone involved. He’s probably an insufferable asshole, but even the most charitable reading is that he’s got extremely poor judgment.

  8. This actually reminds me of an incident from last year. It involved one Christopher David.

    https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/26/politics/navy-veteran-portland-protests-trump/index.html

    Christopher David, the veteran, had been making his first appearance at one of the protests when he saw a group of camouflaged authorities deploy tear gas on some protesters and knock others to the ground, the lawsuit says.
    After he calmly approached the officers to ask them “what they were doing and why they were not honoring their oath to support the Constitution,” he was pepper-sprayed twice in the face and struck five times with a baton, breaking his hand in two places, according to the lawsuit.

    It would be fair to write that Christopher David, based upon what he publicly admitted, was an ethics dunce.

    But what motivated David to do something so unethical?

    Could it be Speaker Nancy Pelosi tweeting that “Trump and his stormtroopers must be stopped”.

    Speaker Pelosi was an ethics corrupter!

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