Writer and activist Shaun King is using his platform to shed light on a story that media has largely ignored.
According to his Facebook post, Sherita Dixon Cole was stopped on Sunday, May 20, by a Officer Hubbard, a Texas state trooper, in the town of Waxahachie. She immediately phoned her boyfriend, and let him know she was being pulled over and disclosed her location to him. She was allegedly stopped because the officer believed she was under the influence. Cole volunteered to be tested and passed each one, including a breathalyzer. But because the officer “didn’t like [her] attitude,” he told her she was going to jail. According to King, “He handcuffed her hands behind her back and placed Cole in the front passenger seat of his patrol vehicle. Hubbard then took a seat beside Cole and placed his hand on her thigh. He asked her if she wanted to go home as he hiked up her skirt. He told her that she could earn her way home, if she really wanted to go.”
King further said in a tweet that Cole’s boyfriend “arrived just as the officer began to accost her.” She said he was armed, to which Hubbard reportedly replied, ‘If you tell him what happened he will be armed and his fire arm will be visible when I have to shoot him.’ Hubbard went over to talk to Cole’s boyfriend and let him talk to her briefly in his presence. She recounted how she passed the DUI/DWI protocol but was being arrested because ‘because of [her] attitude.’ Her boyfriend intended to follow them to the jail, but the officer allegedly said he would be taken into custody if he followed.
According to King, Cole reported the sexual assault but was still put in jail. Reports say she is now in the hospital for the assault. King is suggesting that “the arresting officer in this case have all of his clothes from this shift fully tested for bodily fluids. It is our belief that they held Sherita for nearly 24 hours without cause to attempt to cover up this assault.” King also said the officer removed all of his social media.
The Texas Department of Public Safety quickly refuted the accusations in a statement, saying, “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.”
In a press release, Cole’s attorney, S. Lee Merritt, said, “The Texas department of public safety has an obligation to thoroughly investigate claims against their officers. There is no evidence that this was done, beyond that dismissive statement concerning dash cam footage released to media it is this culture of hostility and skepticism that discourages victims to come forward.”
A press conference is reportedly scheduled for today. More information to come as the story develops.