The attorney for a woman who accused a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper of sexual assault during a traffic stop is apologizing after DPS released body camera video of the full encounter, which appears to refute her claims.
Philadelphia attorney S. Lee Merritt said in a press release Wednesday that the video of the traffic stop early Sunday morning “directly conflicts with the accounts reported to my office.”
According to KWTX, Officer Daniel Hubbard pulled over Sherita Dixon-Cole around 1:30 a.m. Sunday on suspicion of drunken driving.
The Grapevine woman was taken to the Ellis County Jail and booked on suspicion of DUI.
Cole told the trooper she was headed to her fiancee’s home in Waxahachie from downtown Dallas and had one drink, KDFW reports.
Cole said the trooper offered to let her go in return for sexual favors and she accused him of fondling, groping and sexually assaulting her on the way to the jail, KWTX reports.
Hours after her arrest, New York activist Shaun King posted on Facebook and Twitter that Cole had been “kidnapped” and explained in detail Cole’s claims as explained by her and Merritt.
King also claimed the trooper threatened to shoot her fiancee, KDFW reports. The posts were shared thousands of times online, but have since been deleted.
The Texas Department of Public Safety responded late Tuesday night by releasing the trooper’s body camera footage in full after receiving approval from the Ellis County District Attorney’s Office.
According to DPS, the only parts that have been blurred or rendered inaudible are those where personal information is shared.
“The video shows absolutely no evidence to support the egregious and unsubstantiated accusations against the Trooper during the DWI arrest of the suspect,” DPS posted on YouTube.
During the field sobriety test, the trooper in the video pours out two bottles of alcohol he says he found in Cole’s front seat.
He places her under arrest and asks her to sit in the front seat of his patrol car.
Throughout the two-hour footage, the officer is shown helping the woman through the intake process. At one point, he asks her if she’d like for him to turn off her cellphone in order to save the battery so she can use it later.
At one point during the interview, they appear to have a friendly chat about college and Cole talks about getting her master’s degree.
“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 department stated.
In addition to deleting his prior posts about the incident, King also issued a statement walking back his accusations on Twitter.