In the midst of two controversial police shootings that have already stoked racial tension across the country, the state of Georgia has charged one of its finest with a criminal offense. The shocking tale sent ripples throughout a tiny community, and internet users expressed angst over the “fabricated” case.
According to a Vibe Magazine report, the Georgia Bureau of the Investigation (or GBI) charged Officer Sherry Hall for making false statements in the performance of her official duties.
Reportedly, Hall, who is white, lied and said that an unknown African-American assailant had shot her. However, according to police investigators, she made up the story, and there was no such encounter.
RT @GAFollowers Sherry Hall will be arrested & charged after accidently shooting herself & blaming it on an imaginary black male suspect pic.twitter.com/T1md9zzvMn
— Big Mo (@_MoMichelle) September 25, 2016
Investigators with GBI said Officer Hall made a police radio call on September 13, reporting that she had been shot by a black man during a routine patrol. By her own admission, she was assaulted when she initiated contact with the suspect.
Hall claims she stopped her police cruiser when she saw a man sitting along the wood line. Chief James Morgan, who originally praised Hall for being “very professional at all costs” and “highly trained,” called for an independent investigation after the alleged shooting.
During the encounter, the suspect supposedly shot her in the abdomen with a single shot without warning. Hall managed to return fire twice with her department-issued handgun.
What she could not say for sure was if the suspect was struck by gunfire at the time — he fled into the nearby woods. She described her assailant as “6-foot, 230-pound black man” who wore a “green shirt and black jogging pants.”
Officials say Hall was not seriously injured because she was wearing her department issued bulletproof vest. Agents said the incident took place near Walker Street on Camellia Court. The alleged crime scene is only blocks away from the town square.
Apparently, early on investigators discovered “inconsistent” statements in the officer’s account. Hall was not on an official police call at the time and had not turned on her vehicle’s audio and video recording devices. However, investigators used data from the hard drive that ran counter to Hall’s statements.
— Chris Hopper (@Chris11Alive) September 24, 2016
Later, Hall stopped cooperating with the investigation and detectives found a second gun at her home that matched a shell casing from the scene. Special Agent Joe Wooten says it was planted by the officer. He shared the latest developments in the investigation.
“After following leads and evidence, the investigation has now revealed that there is no, and never was, a suspect shooter at large in Jackson, Georgia.”
Jackson Mayor Kay Pippin expressed her frustrations about the incident, saying hundreds of hours were spent on the case trying to find an alleged shooter.
“For two weeks, the good people of the city of Jackson poured out their hearts in expressions of concern and support for what we believed to be a police officer – one of our own – harmed in the line of duty.”
Butts County Sheriff Gary Long weighed in on the case.
“Cops are humans, and they make mistakes, but this is not a mistake. This is criminal.”
At the time of the shooting, Hall had only been with the police department for three months. Her total time in law enforcement is four years. Twitter users sounded off about the story.
Cop kills unarmed man on video: We need more facts
— SmallFeetGotHeat (@TwitWit14_JW) September 24, 2016
Sherry Hall was allowed to become a police officer with a felony charge on her record. Guys can’t get a job at Chipotle because of weed.
— ItsJustJayNow (@ChocnessMonsta) September 24, 2016
Another racist lying cop. | Officer Sherry Hall charged after saying black man shot her | #twibdocket https://t.co/4RAxJenlDT
— Imani Gandy (@AngryBlackLady) September 24, 2016
Investigators stopped short of saying the gunshot wound was self-inflicted but said there was no other person responsible for the gunfire to Hall’s abdomen. Multiple sites claim the shooting was “accidental,” and she was trying to cover up the incident to prevent discipline.
Reportedly, Hall signed herself into a facility of an unknown type. CBS News says Hall, upon discharge, faces charges for making “false statements, tampering with evidence, interference with government property and violation of oath of office.”
[Featured Image by PAPBA/Twitter]