CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A former chaplain’s aide at the Mecklenburg County Jail is hoping to be reinstated after she was removed following an arrest. Rev. Jane Holmes is one of more than 700 people arrested over recent months during “Moral Monday” protests at the North Carolina General Assembly.
“I haven't robbed a store. I haven't broken into anybody's car,” said Holmes, who says she was committing a simple act of civil disobedience.
The 72-year-old Episcopal deacon admits she knew that she could be arrested when she attended the protest on June 3. She believes officers in Raleigh contacted jail officials in Charlotte, after she mentioned she volunteered at the jail.
“The first thing I thought of was, ‘It’s the good old southern boys club, sticking together’.”
Holmes didn’t think the arrest could get her fired from the volunteering she loves, working with chaplains and counseling inmates at the jail.
“Do I miss it? I do, very, very much.”
The Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Department, which operates the jail, issued the following statement to NBC Charlotte:
“The Sheriff absolutely supports a person's right to peacefully protest their convictions; however, he will not allow a person who is an employee or volunteer representing the Sheriff or his office to willfully disobey a legal directive given by a law enforcement officer and get arrested. It is disrespectful to the badge and authority of law enforcement officers across the state. He, and citizens, hold sheriff's office employees to a higher standard and expects all to obey the law.”
Holmes said she’ll rely on her faith to sway Sheriff Chipp Bailey.
“I keep him in my prayers that his heart will soften,” she said.
Her next court appearance is in September. She hopes charges will be dropped, and she can return to volunteering at the jail.