The family of a 15-year-old girl says the department took no action after they reported an officer had sexually assaulted her. Now that officer has committed suicide.
by Matt Agorist, guest writer
Jackson, MS — For several days, the family of a 15-year-old girl who says she was repeatedly sexual assaulted by a Jackson Police officer tried to get the department to take action against that officer. However, the family claims that no action was ever taken and now, the accused officer, James Hollins, is dead.
On Sunday, JPD officer Hollins stopped his car on I220 and killed himself.
Attorney Lisa Ross, who is representing the mother of the alleged victim, noted during a press conference that the police department took no action against the officer despite seeing actual video evidence of the officer raping the girl in his squad car.
Ross told the press there are multiple videos taken from inside the officer’s patrol car, made over the course of six months.
“One of the chief’s first questions to the mother is, ‘Do you have any evidence?’,” said Ross. “She said, ‘Of course. I have videos.’ Then even when he sees the videos, he can’t tell the media what actions he’s taking,” said Ross.
Ross also noted that it took over 48 hours for police to even get back with the family after the original call.
“We plan to ask the United States Attorney’s Office and the Department of Justice to take over an investigation of a Jackson Police officer who has repeatedly sexually assaulted a minor,” Ross said. “What he did to this young girl was unconscionable and there’s no telling how many others are out there… We want people who have seen something to say something.”
“You wouldn’t find anything worse on PornHub,” she added.
According to Ross, Hollins approached the 15-year-old girl six months ago and would pick her up in his patrol car where the sexual assaults would take place.
Not until after the news broke of the officer’s suicide did the department claim he had been placed on administrative leave.
According to Jackson Mayor Chokwe Lumumba, he was in his personal car, but used the service revolver of another officer.
“It’s not known to us now if the officer even knew their weapon had been taken in the moment,” said Mayor Lumumba.
Ross now wants the Jackson Police Department and Chief James Davis to be held responsible for the assault.
While this officer deserved to be held accountable for his crimes, suicide among police officers is tragically common.
According to Blue H.E.L.P., a nonprofit run by active and retired police officers, at least 159 officers took their own lives in 2018, the same number of suicides tracked in 2017 and 19 more than in 2016.
According to WGN, cumulative exposure to trauma, horrific accidents and shootings can lead to mental health struggles that too often go untreated. The report reveals the rate of PTSD and depression for police and firefighters is five times higher than the civilian population.
A report commissioned by the Ruderman Family Foundation showed that officers’ highest risk of death is by suicide with most deaths in California and Texas.
Critics believe the lack of resources for mental health adds to lives being lost. Mental health experts say the barrier that keeps officers from seeking help are shame, fear of being off the job and the stigma behind it.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached at 1-800-273-8255. Police officers can text the word “blue” to 741741 or simply text “talk” to 741741.