Victim's boyfriend details damage done by fired CMPD officer's traffic stops
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police detectives are trying to find other potential victims of former CMPD Officer Marcus Jackson. They're sifting through police cruiser video of every traffic stop Jackson made in the last six months to see if they can identify anything else suspicious. Three women have come forward in the last two weeks accusing Jackson of fondling or forcing them to perform sex acts after he pulled them over. A boyfriend of one of the women tried to stop the officer by calling 911. It worked, but not in the way he intended. WFAE's Lisa Miller has his story: Abel's girlfriend works late most nights. (For this story we'll refer to her as Maria and Abel agreed to talk to us if we only used his first name.) Maria's shift usually ends around one o'clock in the morning. "She told me she was always afraid, so she told me to follow her and, of course, I did if that's what she wanted," says Abel. "Because then she'd feel a little more protected." So Abel would routinely meet her when she got off work and follow her in his own car as she drove 14 miles to her home in East Charlotte. That's what he did on November 2nd. By the time they got close to her home Abel says a police car pulled up next to Maria's pick-up truck. He drove beside her for several blocks before pulling her over. Abel is an illegal immigrant. He didn't want to risk a run-in with police so he hung back and kept his eye on the exchange, but he couldn't really see what was happening. Later, Maria told him the police officer, Marcus Jackson, grabbed her breasts. "That day she really didn't want to tell me much because she'd start crying," says Abel. "On the next day she told me what the policeman tried to do and she said it was very bad because police should be there to protect not to try to rape her." They thought about getting a lawyer, but Maria worried it would just upset the police. Up until that night, they hadn't faced many problems as a couple. Both are from Mexico. Abel says the last two years together have been a gift. "One day I was at a laundromat and that's where I met her," recalls Abel. "I tried to help her with her clothes so I could talk to her. So we talked for a long time. To me, she's very pretty. I also wanted to keep talking because she seemed like such a beautiful person." The next run-in they had with Jackson wasn't far from that laundromat. Abel and Maria were driving home again in separate cars on December 29th when Officer Jackson started following her in his police cruiser. They pulled into Abel's apartment complex off Eastway Drive. Officer Jackson pulled in behind them and told Abel to go inside or face arrest. But he refused and started calling 911. He says Jackson ordered him to stop and said "I'm the police." In retaliation, Abel says, Officer Jackson directed his flashlight on Maria's breasts and then began to grope other parts of her body. "I was very afraid because he was a police officer, but it gave me courage to call because he was fondling her in front of me," recounts Abel. "I said, 'If you have to arrest me and send me to deportation so be it, but you'd better leave her alone.' I decided it was better to call the police, so I could do something." He called 911 a second time. Abel says Jackson snatched the phone and arrested him. He was charged with obstructing and delaying a police officer. Officer Jackson drove Abel to the Mecklenburg County Jail where he spent six days. Abel told Sheriff's deputies about what happened, but he says no one seemed too concerned. They didn't believe him. Their attitudes started to change after police chief Rodney Monroe had a press conference the evening of December 30th. "I am disheartened this evening to report that a member of the CMPD, Officer Marcus Jackson, has been arrested and charged with several sexual assault related offenses," announced Monroe. On that evening Jackson was charged with sexual battery of a 17-year-old girl and another Latino woman during traffic stops. A few days later on January 2nd a Sheriff's deputy informed the police department of Abel's claim. All charges have been dropped against Abel, but his problems haven't gone away. Deputies determined he was in the country illegally and notified U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Abel now has a U-Visa which allows victims of crime to stay in the country up to four years. But he's without a job. He had been working at an uptown cafeteria. He says he lost it when he went to jail. Abel is also worried he lost Maria. The ordeal has been too much and she says she needs time apart.