CMPD Chief: Mistakes Made Hiring Accused Officer

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CHARLOTTE, N.C.,None — Charlotte-Mecklenburg police chief Rodney Monroe admitted mistakes were made in the hiring process of a former officer who's now accused of sex crimes.

"There were things that were missed in this background investigation that should not have been missed," Monroe said.

Monroe said the department had no knowledge of the restraining order against Marcus Jackson prior to Jackson joining the force in 2008.

When asked why they did not know, Monroe responded: "Not very efficient work."

Monroe said the hiring process was overhauled in November 2008, two months after Jackson was hired.

Monroe said Jackson would not have been hired had he known about Jackson's past. The police department changed the structure of its recruiting department and replaced the captain in charge of it in 2008. Other personnel in charge of recruitment were replaced in 2008 as well.

The department is reviewing the practice of using on outside firm to conduct background checks.

"The information was there for us to see, and it was not properly reviewed," Monroe said.

Jackson was charged with more crimes on Tuesday after allegations that he sexually assaulted a third woman surfaced. The chief said he unlawfully stopped her in November and fondled her. Monroe said Jackson did the same thing to that same woman on December 29th. In that incident, her boyfriend was with her and tried calling 911.

Police said Jackson stopped the man, and wrongfully arrested him.

Along with the local charges, the FBI is also investigating any possible federal charges against Jackson.

Monroe said his department is contacting other people who were pulled over or arrested by Jackson in the past.

More Charges Filed Against Ex-CMPD Officer

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Rodney Monroe revealed in a news conference Tuesday that a man and a woman have filed complaints against fired officer Marcus Jackson.

The ex-officer now faces additional charges of sexual battery, felonious restraint and intentional interference with an emergency call.

Jackson is already charged with sexually assaulting two women during traffic stops.

In the latest alleged incidents, a woman claims Jackson pulled her over on Nov. 2, conducted an unwarranted search and then fondled her. She said that on Dec. 29 she was pulled over again by Jackson, this time with a male companion in the car with her.

That time, she alleged, Jackson fondled her again and her companion attempted to call 911 to report the incident. The charges state that Jackson prevented the man from making the call and arrested him.

A sheriff's deputy at the jail overheard the man's story and brought it to CMPD's attention, and a CMPD officer who backed up Jackson on the December call corroborated the account, according to Monroe.

Accused Officer Suspended Twice Before Incidents

Fired Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Officer Marcus Jackson was suspended twice in 2009, just weeks before being charged with sexually assaulting two women during traffic stops.

Eyewitness News has learned Jackson was suspended for two days in September. An internal review board found Jackson was speeding on the way to a call. After a fellow officer crashed on the way to a call last summer, CMPD said Jackson reported that he and that officer were traveling 45 miles an hour when they were actually driving at least 75 mph.

In November, Jackson was suspended again for conduct unbecoming an officer. Police in Mint Hill responded to a call and found that Jackson had broken through a door to gain entrance to his estranged wife's apartment. Because Jackson's name was still on the apartment's lease, Mint Hill Police filed no charges. But a CMPD internal investigation found he should have been charged with misdemeanor breaking and entering. For the second time in two months, he was suspended for two days.

Word of those suspensions is troubling to City Council member Patrick Cannon. "It doesn't make me happy to know that there are even more things that are out there," Cannon said. He added, "It is my hope that we'll have the police chief come before us and talk about where we are in terms of background checks because we don't want a situation occurring where we ask ourselves, ‘How did it get this far and why did it get that far.'"

Council member Andy Dulin said he's concerned that Marcus Jackson received only two-day suspensions. He said police need to address that. "We're gonna tighten that up," Dulin said.