Serial rapist and cop Daniel Holtzclaw has been found guilty. The jury thought long and hard for two days on the fate of the former Ohio officer, who used his position of power to harass and rape Black women. NBC news reported that Holtzclaw hung his head and cried as the jury announced that he had been found guilty on 18 of 36 charges of raping 12 African American women and one young girl. Why was he surprised? NBC reported:
A former Oklahoma City police officer was convicted Thursday of rape related to accusations that he victimized 13 women on his police beat in a minority, low-income neighborhood.
Daniel Holtzclaw, 29, faces a possible sentence of life in prison because of the conviction. He also faced more than 30 counts, including sexual battery and forcible oral sodomy.
The allegations against Holtzclaw brought new attention to the problem of sexual misconduct committed by law enforcement officers, something police chiefs have studied for years.
During a monthlong trial, jurors heard from 13 women who said Holtzclaw sexually victimized them. Most of them said Holtzclaw stopped them while out on patrol, searched them for outstanding warrants or checked to see if they were carrying drug paraphernalia, then forced himself on them.
Prosecutors said in their closing arguments that many of the accusers have had troubled lives but that the law protects them as much as anyone else. Holtzclaw’s attorney described him as a model police officer whose attempts to help the drug addicts and prostitutes he came in contact with were distorted. Holtzclaw did not take the stand.
All of the women are black. Holtzclaw is half-white, half-Japanese. The jury appeared to all be white, though Oklahoma court officials said they did not have race information for jurors. Some supporters of the women questioned whether the jury would fairly judge their allegations.
Great to see that despite some of our fears, this jury did the right thing for once. Hopefully he never gets out of prison, and someone shows him just how those women felt.