On Thursday, June 3, Jessica Gay Parks of Julian, North Carolina allegedly broke into and stole the county-owned Tahoe that’s assigned to Guilford County Sheriff Danny Rogers.
A lot of people would hold a grudge about something like that. However, a Friday, June 4 press release from the Sheriff’s Department revealed that Rogers was praying not just for the thief – but with her.
“Although he will pursue the criminal charges filed against Ms. Parks, Sheriff Danny Rogers put aside his personal feelings and met briefly with her at the jail on Friday morning, June 4, 2021,” the press release reads.
“According to Sheriff Rogers, Parks was contrite and apologetic,” it adds. “The Sheriff asked Ms. Parks about her physical condition, counseled her about the seriousness of her actions, prayed with her, and encouraged her to seek assistance from the Sheriff’s Inmate Re-entry Program once her charges are resolved.”
That program provides employment and housing assistance to inmates who are re-entering society after their release from jail or prison.
The press release from the sheriff’s department noted that no one was injured during the incident and the sheriff’s Tahoe wasn’t damaged. It stated that the vehicle “was back in service with Sheriff Rogers behind the wheel on Thursday evening.”
This is nothing new for Rogers, who, shortly after he was elected to the job, did something highly unusual for a sheriff: He hugged inmates and tried to “spread love” throughout the county’s two jails. Rogers also delivered fatherly advice to the inmates with a message of redemption.
In 2018, when Rogers defeated long-time Republican Guilford County Sheriff BJ Barnes, Rogers made redemption a theme of his campaign
“The trustees that work there in the kitchen – I’m hugging ‘em,” Rogers told the Rhino Times soon after being elected. “I’m loving on ‘em. I go in the pods; I shake their hands. I talked to the 19-year-olds, the 20-year-olds, the 18-year-olds, and I ask them: Why are you here? And I sat down beside one young man, and I said, ‘It’s your choice.’”
Based on his latest interaction with the alleged car thief, Rogers is still spreading that message.
Some of Rogers’ detractors were critical of the practice that one labeled “Hug-a thug.” Others found it refreshing for a sheriff to openly show affection for inmates.