We have a crisis in our country when a white police officer who is sworn to protect and serve his community is charged with boldly preying on eight black women by pulling them over for routine traffic stops, raping and sodomizing them, threatening them with jail or physical harm if they tell, and then return to patrolling the streets as if nothing ever happened.
This crime is beyond heinous, it’s beyond reprehensible and I’m trying to figure out what policies could have prevented Oklahoma Police Officer Daniel Holtzclaw from allegedly perpetrating a series of what I believe are violent hate crimes against African-American women.
Holtzclaw, 27, was charged last week with 16 counts including first-degree rape and sexual battery after being accused of assaulting at least eight Black women while on patrol. He also faces charges of forcible oral sodomy and indecent exposure. Holtzclaw remains in jail on a $5 million cash bond.
It’s deplorable that Holtzclaw may have singled out women for violent sexual acts, but it’s also insidious that he directed his racial hatred specifically toward unsuspecting black women. Holtzclaw is accused of stopping women, who were all Black and between the ages of 34 and 58. Prosecutors say he raped two women and either fondled others or forced them to expose themselves, and police said there may even be more victims.
Holtzclaw told the women that if they didn’t comply, they would be arrested or physically harmed. The first victim to come forward was a 57-year-old grandmother who claimed Holtzclaw forced her to perform oral sex.
“She was so afraid that no one was going to believe her because she’s African-American,” the woman’s attorney, Aletia Timmons, told reporters. Another troubling development: Supporters of Holtzclaw have raised more than $7,000 for his defense. A three-year veteran on the force, Holtzclaw maintains his innocence and claims he did nothing to the eight Black women who have come forward. Friends and family have created a Facebook page called “Justice for Daniel Holtzclaw.”