Leaders Question CMPD Chief Over Officer's Arrest

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CHARLOTTE, N.C.,None - Charlotte city leaders asked Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Chief Rodney Monroe to give them a personal update on the Marcus Jackson case Monday night.

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Monroe called Jackson's alleged crimes despicable. Once again, Monroe admitted CMPD dropped the ball and missed key information in Jackson's background.

"It is and was our responsibility," he said.

Monroe said the department changed its policy in November 2008. It added a major and captain over recruitment, began using legal software and surfing social networking sites to check applicants' pasts and started doing more legwork in-house instead of outsourcing it.

Monroe has not said whether CMPD will redo any of the background checks that were done the old way to make sure other officers didn't slip through the cracks.

City leaders didn't raise that question. Eyewitness News tried to ask Monroe about re-checking officers' backgrounds, but he refused to speak one-on-one.

"We can rest assured this thing has got his attention," councilman Andy Dulin said. "Because it makes him look bad. And the chief doesn't want to look bad, so he's going to get it fixed."

City leaders also voted to discuss later this month whether to make Jackson's personnel file public. It may not pass, because many are afraid the move could jeopardize the investigation.

Jackson Faces Accusers In Court

Fired Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Officer Marcus Jackson made his first appearance in person before a judge in court Monday. He stood in silence for about 20 minutes as two of the people he's accused of assaulting told their stories through an interpreter.

The Hispanic couple said what allegedly happened to them has shaken their trust in the police force.

Prosecutor Samantha Pendergrass told the judge that Jackson fondled the woman, and suggested with hand gestures that he would arrest both of them if they didn't cooperate.

She described their story and two others for the judge, all incidents in which Jackson had allegedly fondled or sexually assaulted young women.

Pendergrass asked the judge to double Jackson's bond, saying she was concerned he might try to contact some of the victims if he is released on bond.

Jackson's attorney pointed out that he is no longer a police officer and couldn't use his position to threaten anyone, asking the judge to reduce his bond dramatically.

In the end, the judge decided to leave Jackson's bond at $423,000.

The prosecutor also said that she expects to file charges in two more incidents.

While neither Jackson nor his attorneys had anything to say outside court, two of Jackson's friends stepped forward to say the man they know is something other than a predator.

Lawrence Briscoe and Tracie Westbrook went to high school with Jackson, and said they had never seen his alleged dark side.

"He's a protector, hence he's a police officer. He's a protector," Briscoe said.

Jackson's Visitor Log

Jackson has received a handful of visitors since being jailed just before the new year.

According to visitor logs, Sunday he received a member of the clergy, and Friday his father and brother visited. On Jan. 1, his mother and stepfather visited.

Beyond that, his only visitors have been his attorneys.

Previous Stories: January 9, 2010: More Allegations Against Jackson January 8, 2010: Marcus Jackson Timeline January 8, 2010: CMPD Announces New Allegations Against Former Officer January 6, 2010: CMPD Works To Regain Public Trust January 6, 2010: Alleged Victim Of Fired Officer Gives Interview