Police officer accused of sexually assaulting a minor commits suicide on the I-220 after news of abuse surfaces
Both the lanes of the interstate highway were closed for more than two hours on Monday as law enforcement officers looked into the incident. According to Mayor Lumumba, the officer was in his personal car but used the service revolver of another colleague.
A police officer in Jackson who was accused of repeatedly sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl in the back of his patrol car took his own life shortly after the news of the abuse broke. Mayor Chokwe Lumumba identified the officer as 29-year-old James Hollins in an interview. Attorney Lisa Ross is representing the mother of the child who was sexually assaulted by the officer. The mother said that the assault took place over the past six months.
WLBT reported that in a press conference, Sergeant Roderick Holmes of the Jackson Police Department said that the department will be performing an internal and an external investigation on the accused officer. He also said that they were not sure at the time of where the officer was but he was placed on administrative leave on Sunday, May 26.
It was confirmed only later that Hollins had taken his own life in the I-220 on Monday afternoon. Both the lanes of the interstate highway were closed for more than two hours on Monday as law enforcement officers looked into the incident. According to Mayor Lumumba, Hollins was in his personal car but used the service revolver of another officer.
Mayor Lumumba said: "It’s not known to us now if the officer even knew their weapon had been taken in the moment." Ross said that the teen was approached by the officer and was befriended by him. She added that the incidents took place multiple times a week over a period of six months and there are several sexually explicit videos of the officer and the teen in the back of the patrol car.
The girl's mother caught wind of the misconduct and the family along with Ross reported the incidents to the police chief on Saturday. They felt that the chief did not respond appropriately to the complaint. Mayor Lumumba gave a timeline of the events and said that when he was asked to respond to the criticism, Chief James Davis "didn’t jump right out in front of this". He also said that the chief called him on Sunday and informed him that the mother of the teen shared information and showed him videos of Hollins.
The police chief had initially asked to place Hollins on administrative leave and the mayor had approved the decision. Mayor Lumumba then said that Davis had called internal affairs, which sent Hollins a letter that notified him of the administrative leave, which he reportedly signed. Davis then began a criminal investigation.
The mayor said that he believed Chief Davis acted immediately and said in response to the criticism that the actions were not fast enough: "That is something that we don’t need to add to the narrative. The narrative is already sad, and it’s a bad story to begin with." Lumumba said that his administration will always hold the police department to a high level of accountability.
He added: "That doesn’t make me anti-police, but it does make me anti-police corruption." Ross has said that the family had plans to ask the US Attorney’s office and the Department of Justice to launch an investigation.
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