Body-cam footage of Texas trooper contradicts woman's claim he sexually assaulted her
The attorney representing the woman who accused a Texas trooper of sexual assault after a traffic stop on Interstate 35, is apologizing after bodycam video contradicts claim
A state trooper's body cam footage did not corroborate the story of a Texas woman who accused him of sexually harassing her during a traffic stop on Interstate 35, and now the lawyer representing the woman has apologized on behalf of his client for the false allegation, reported Fox News.
The woman in question, 37-year-old Sherita Dixon-Cole of Grapevine, had accused Officer Daniel Hubbard of sexual assault during a traffic stop on Sunday. However, S. Lee Merritt, the Philadelphia lawyer representing her, released a statement saying the evidence produced by the officer “directly conflicts with the accounts reported to my office” by Dixon-Cole.
Press Release concerning released body-cam footage by Texas DPS pic.twitter.com/ExpbgmJEH5— S. Lee Merritt, Esq. (@MeritLaw) May 23, 2018
Dixon-Cole was pulled over for a traffic violation at around 1:30 am on Sunday on southbound I-35 in Ellis County near US highway 287 and was arrested for driving under the influence. She was taken to Ellis County Jail.
“The body camera footage released directly conflicts with the accounts reported to my office,” Merritt said in press release Wednesday.
According to Dixon-Cole's previous testimony, she had alleged that after she failed a field sobriety test, Officer Hubbard had “suggested she could go home in exchange for sexual favors."
Meritt's initial press release also mentioned that after Sherita refused, she was taken to the officer's patrol vehicle and “forcefully groped, fondled and vaginally penetrated during a prolonged arrest.”
Presser today at 2PM 1910 Pacific Ave Suite 1700 Conference Dallas TX pic.twitter.com/9ckavZnKB9— S. Lee Merritt, Esq. (@MeritLaw) May 21, 2018
Dixon-Cole went so far as to say that Hubbard offered to take her to a remote location where she could secure her release in exchange for sexual favors while continuing his sexual advances all the way to the police station.
That being said, on Sunday evening, the Texas Department of Public Safety immediately denied those accusations.
“Upon learning of the allegations today, the department immediately took action to review the dash cam video. The video shows absolutely no evidence to support the serious accusations against the Trooper during the DWI arrest of the suspect,” the department said in a statement.
The revealing body cam video, which ran for almost two hours, was released midnight Tuesday. According to the department, it was “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.”
Merritt's office issued the apology shortly after the video was made public.
“Officer Daniel Hubbard seems to comport himself professionally during the duration of the traffic stop and arrest and— without more— should be cleared of any wrongdoing,” he said in the statement.
“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. I take full responsibility for amplifying these claims to the point of national concern.”
The civil rights attorney also added that there were no signs of "tampering" in the evidence provided by the DPS.
Shaun King, a New York based activist and writer, asserted that Dixon-Cole was arrested because the trooper "didn't like her attitude" despite having passed all the field sobriety tests. His Twitter post with regards to the incident went viral.
According to King, Officer Hubbard, who had arrived at the scene of the traffic stop in response to a phone call from Cole, had sexually assaulted Dixon and threatened to shoot her fiancée.
The Department of Public Safety said it found no evidence to support the accusations after reviewing the footage from incident right after the Merritt's initial press release. They then sent the video over to the Ellis County District Attorney’s Office who authorized the release after double-checking the DPS's findings.
Sherita Dixon Cole lied. I am furious that she never considered the damage she could do to the anti-sexual violence movement and journalists supporting her. This is harmful to all true survivors. #MeToo https://t.co/pqflgWBrQ7— Sil Lai Abrams (@Sil_Lai) May 23, 2018
Having said that, the viral posts that circulated Dixon-Cole's false claims did do quite a lot of collateral damage.
KWTX-TV, a CBS-affiliated television station, reported that earlier this week, a Waco lawyer representing a second trooper with the same last name demanded that King and Merrit correct the false claims made by them as they made his client look bad even though he wasn't remotely involved in the incident.
Vance Dunnam Jr., representing Jarrod Kyle Hubbard, wrote a letter to King and Merrit on Monday, saying his client “have been erroneously identified through the internet and other means (including without limitation, by photograph, Facebook account, and contact information) as the officer involved in the event.”
"My client is not the Officer Daniel Hubbard...and is not a relative of that officer. My client has never been known as 'Daniel' and does not work or reside in Waxahachie, Texas," he wrote.
“The identification error has defamed and is defaming my client and his family resulting in substantial harassment and threats necessitating his discontinuation of his Facebook page” and to request “protection for himself and his family from appropriate law enforcement agencies.”
Sherita Dixon Cole Jailed After Being Sexually Assaulted By State Trooper, voluntarily passed all tests, including a breathalyzer. Cop didn’t like her attitude & said she was going to jail. Cop handcuffed her hands behind her back & placed her in front of his car & ASSAULTED Cole pic.twitter.com/7tjUalBt6R— MICHAEL DOLLAR (@MICHAELDOLLAR) May 21, 2018
The lawyer also demanded that both Merritt and King act “immediately to minimize the harm that has been and is being caused (to) my client and his family (including without limitation, by publicly disseminating information clearly and unambiguously disclosing that my client is not and has been erroneously identified as the Officer Daniel Hubbard.”