NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Friday, September 23, 2016, 6:08 PM
A Georgia police officer falsely claimed a suspect shot her in her bulletproof vest and ran off into nearby woods, officials said Friday.
Agents with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation secured a warrant charging Jackson Officer Sherry Hall with false statements, tampering, interference with government property and a violation of oath of office, according to the GBI.
Hall had checked into a health facility seeking help Friday afternoon, a GBI spokesman told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Hall, who is white, said in a police radio call on Sept. 13 that a black man shot her in the abdomen and fled during her patrol that night, according to the GBI.
“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,” said Joe Wooten, special agent in charge of GBI’s Milledgeville office.
Officials at a Friday afternoon press conference in Jackson, roughly 50 miles southeast of Atlanta, declined to comment on whether Hall shot herself. Wooten said Butts County sheriff’s deputies will book her into jail on the felony charges after her release from the private facility.
Hall first told GBI investigators she didn’t have her police cruiser’s video and audio recording equipment turned on at the time of the midnight shooting, according to GBI. Yet the agents later discovered a video on the hard drive that disproved her account, Wooten said.
GBI investigators said she had also failed to disclose that she had a second department-issued handgun. Hall planted a shell casing from the Glock .27 and claimed the suspect had fired it into her bulletproof vest, according to charging documents.
Wooten said investigators are still reviewing the case, but Towaliga Judicial Circuit District Attorney Richard Milam said the community could rest easier Friday.
(Jackson Police Department)
“There is no person out there with a gun shooting at our police officers,” Milam said. “There is no person out there that needs to be found.”
Hall spent five years on probation and paid a $ 1,700 fine after being arrested on felony criminal destruction of property charges back in the ’90s, before she became an officer, according to records cited by WGCL-TV.
Jackson police Chief James Morgan said Hall had been placed on leave pending the outcome of the investigation. He referred to the charges and warrant against her as “an unfortunate incident.”
Yet Butts County Sheriff Gary Long called the situation a “horrific event.” He said police officers, like all human beings, make mistakes sometimes.
“This is not a mistake. This is a criminal,” Long said. “She’ll have a lot of time to think about what she’s done.”
With News Wire Services