The Texas Department of Safety released a two-hour body cam video to clear the department's name after a woman alleged that a trooper threatened and sexually assaulted her during a traffic stop.
On Sunday, 37-year-old Sherita Dixon-Cole was pulled over after a trooper suspected her of driving under the influence. After the stop, Dixon-Cole claimed the DPS trooper repeatedly offered to let her go in exchange for sexual favors. She also said when she refused the favors, she was sexually assaulted, reported the Dallas Morning News.
The allegations quickly went viral and were publicly discussed by high profile attorney Lee Merritt, who has represented other well-known Black victims of police brutality, as well as activist Shaun King.
As a result of the negative attention, the police department released the dash and body cam footage, which shows Dixon-Cole performing a field sobriety test, being handcuffed and booked into the Ellis County jail.
On Wednesday, Merritt’s office released a statement which affirmed the footage "directly conflicts" with the account the woman gave to his office.
"It is deeply troubling when innocent parties are falsely accused and I am truly sorry for any trouble these claims may have caused Officer Hubbard and his family," Merritt said in the statement. "I take full responsibility for amplifying these claims to the point of national concern."
The DPS said in a written statement that after the arrest, "spurious and false" accusations came to light against the trooper, prompting them to get authorization from the Ellis County district attorney to release the video.
"The Department is appalled that anyone would make such a despicable, slanderous and false accusation against a peace officer who willingly risks his life every day to protect and serve the public," the statement reads in part.
Ellis County District Attorney Patrick Wilson said Wednesday that his office had not made a decision to pursue criminal charges against Dixon-Cole.
"We’re trying to determine exactly what was said and who it was said to," Wilson told Dallas News.
(Photo: Texas Department of Safety)
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