Monday, January 04, 2010

Arrest of Officer Marcus Jackson Causes Charges to be Dropped Against Suspects

Fallout from the arrest of a Charlotte Mecklenburg Police officer on sexual assault charges is beginning to be felt outside the police department. Eyewitness News has learned Mecklenburg County prosecutors will be forced to drop charges against many of the suspects arrested by Marcus Jackson.

Jackson was arrested last week after two women, in separate incidents, told police they were forced to perform sexual acts after being stopped and questioned by Jackson. He is no longer on the police force.

A spokesman for District Attorney Peter Gilchrist said prosecutors are compiling a list of cases Jackson was involved in. Cases in which Jackson was scheduled to provide significant information will likely be dropped, said Bart Menser. “It’s a truthfulness issue. How can you ask folks to convict someone else when you have allegations like this” against a police officer who is a witness in the case?

Menser said it’s the same process used when other officers have found themselves charged with crimes. In 2008, officers Gerald Holas and Jason Ross were arrested and charged with tipping off drug dealers. Prosecutors dropped many of the cases they’d been working on.

For Marcus Jackson, the questions go beyond cases that may be dropped. Years before he became a police officer in September, 2008, Jackson was the focus of domestic violence allegations by two women who told a judge he had physically assaulted them. Both women took out restraining orders against Jackson.

CMPD has so far declined to say whether those domestic violence incidents should have disqualified Jackson from being hired. Nor has the department said whether Jackson had any discipline problems during his 15 months with the department.

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