When 37-year-old Sherita Dixon-Cole was pulled over by an officer for driving while intoxicated, she alleged the Texas officer tried to coerce her into performing sexual favors in return for her release, and when she refused he sexually assaulted her.
Newly released dashcam footage of the interaction shows her claims were bogus.
The Washington Post reports the Texas DPS released about two hours of footage last week, (May 22) and while some parts are blurred out to protect Dixon-Cole’s identity, the video goes against her claims. The 17-minute interaction shows the officer pulling her over and asking her to take a sobriety test. When she fails, he notifies her she’s being arrested for driving intoxicated and handcuffs her. That’s it.
“The video shows absolutely no evidence to support the egregious and unsubstantiated accusations against the Trooper during the DWI arrest of the suspect,” officials told the Post. “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.”
After she posted bond and was released from Ellis County jail later Sunday Dixon-Cole’s attorney, Lee Merritt, released a statement Monday (May 21) saying the trooper sexually assaulted her. The Twitter community embraced her story after it was shared on social media, including by activist Shaun King.
Merritt has since apologized Wednesday (May 23) for the claims he made in the statement to the officer that was falsely accused and his family. He takes “full responsibility” for blowing up Dixon-Cole’s story without checking into it fully.
“It is deeply troubling when innocent parties are falsely accused, and I am truly sorry for any trouble these claims may have caused [the officer] and his family,” he wrote. “I take full responsibility for amplifying these claims to the point of national concern.”
Dixon-Cole was charged for driving while intoxicated and it’s unknown if she will suffer consequences for her false claims. The Ellis County District Attorney’s office is investigating.