Georgia Cop Gets 15-Year Sentence After Falsely Accusing Black Man of Shooting Her

A Georgia cop will spend the next 15 years behind bars after falsely claiming she’d been shot by a 6-foot, 230-pound Black man during an unprovoked attack in 2016.

Jackson officer Sherry Hall was recently convicted on 11 criminal charges, including making false statements, tampering with evidence and violating her oath, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. A judge sentenced the former cop, 43, to 15 years in prison, followed by 23 years of probation.

Sherry Hall

Sherry has was indicted on 11 criminal counts, including making a false statement and tampering with evidence. (Image courtesy of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

“She did a great job for us, up until that night …,” said Jackson Police Chief James Morgan. “So we didn’t see this coming. But this was not a mistake. It was a conscious decision and a choreographed act.”

Hall’s claims sparked an all-out manhunt across Butts County, putting locals on edge. Police swarmed to a wooded cul-de-sac in Jackson after Hall radioed to officers that she’d been shot by an assailant described as a large Black man wearing a green shirt and Black sweatpants. She claimed the man drew his gun and suddenly opened fire.

A single bullet was found in her protective vest, police said.

Per the AJC, the Sept. 13, 2016, incident came on the heels of a string of attacks on law enforcement officers across the country, seemingly in retaliation for white officers killing unarmed Black men. Officials were unsure of Hall’s motive but said the shooting stoked racial fears in the community some 50 miles south of the city of Atlanta.

“We didn’t need an uprising,” Morgan told the newspaper. “We didn’t want any racial tensions. This put a dim view on our department. But we rebounded. It defused pretty quickly.”

Hall had only been in on the Jackson police force for three months. Authorities initially believed the tall tale she wove, and at one point, brought in a man who resembled her alleged attacker for questioning. He was later released, however.

It wasn’t long before her story started to crumble, as prosecutors began to poke holes in her claims.

At first, Hall told investigators she’d turned her car spotlight on a Black man as she pulled onto Camilla Court that evening. That’s when she claims she was shot, but managed to fire two shots back after scrambling behind her patrol car for cover. Assistant District Attorney James Moss said audio from the cruiser’s video system tells a different story, however.

Apparently, the officer was unaware the system was operating even though she hadn’t flipped on her blue lights. Moss said in the recording, only two shots are heard being fired, not three like Hall had claimed.

Moreover, the two shell casings found near her car matched the gun she was carrying that night. A third, found in the woods where Hall claimed the shooting had occurred, matched a department-issued backup gun that Hall kept in her nightstand, according to Moss. That gun’s firing pin was also found to have been tampered with.

Hall is now serving out her sentence at Arrendale State Prison in Alto.

“It was dumbfounding that she went to trial,” said Moss. “She never took responsibility. She invented out of whole cloth a black man who shot her, and if law enforcement hadn’t done their jobs right, we could have had a gentleman wrongly charged with a crime.”

Hall’s brother, Steve Weaver, told the AJC he thought his sister’s sentence was a bit harsh, arguing she deserved less time because her crime was “nonviolent.”

“She definitely didn’t get treated fairly,” said Weaver, a pastor from Griffin, Ga. “As her brother, obviously it’s hard for me to admit she’s guilty. But if she is guilty, the sentence she received was especially harsh.”

He added, “We hope to seek a sentence reduction in the near future. I mean, this was a nonviolent crime.”

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