Attorney says JPD mishandled child exploitation arrest of officer

Updated: May. 12, 2020 at 4:24 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - An attorney says Jackson Police Department mishandled the arrest of one of their own officers.

Lisa Ross is representing the family of the alleged victim of Mark Coleman.

Coleman, 57, was arrested and charged with child exploitation, a 3 On Your Side investigation revealed. He was released on bond on May 9, Ross said.

Coleman, a JPD officer, was placed on administrative leave pending an internal investigation.

Ross said Judge William Walker entered a no-contact order, prohibiting Coleman from contacting the child or her family while he’s being investigated. She said before the judge’s order, no protection was given to the victim or her family.

She says JPD has been trying to sweep the arrest under the rug. She wants JPD to release arrests like these to the public.

She says that while many JPD officers are dedicated to their job, the ones who aren’t need to be held accountable.

“We need to get rid of the bad apples,” Ross said.

Ross said the child only knew the police officer because of his role as an officer. She says Coleman bought the child a cell phone and would text her on it looking for sex.

She says the family contacted JPD weeks ago after they found out and JPD contacted the FBI--"the one thing JPD did right," she said.

Ross claims there was an attempt to cover up the crime within JPD because there’s no record of who he called to be freed on bond.

“Who in your department called the judge and asked the judge to release this man on an unsecured bond?” she asked. “...Why was that call placed?”

Ross argues there is overwhelming evidence for JPD to fire Coleman. She says the cell phone records led them right to him.

Copyright 2020 WLBT. All rights reserved.