Bond has been lowered for an Oklahoma City police officer and Enid native accused of sexually assaulting women he encountered while on patrol.
Photo of Oklahoma City police officer Daniel Holtzclaw from Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office
Bond for Daniel Ken Holtzclaw, 27, was set at $500,000 Wednesday with conditions placed upon his release, if bond is posted. Holtzclaw has been held since his arrest two weeks ago in lieu of a $5 million cash bond. His attorney had wanted bond set at $139,000.
According to online court records, if bond is posted, Holtzclaw would be under full house arrest, have a GPS monitor and would only be allowed to go to his attorney’s office and court proceedings. At an earlier hearing Wednesday, Holtzclaw was set for a Sept. 18 preliminary hearing. A judge entered not-guilty pleas for him.
Holtzclaw was arrested last month following a months-long investigation by Oklahoma City police following a complaint from one of his alleged victims. Prosecutors have filed 16 felony charges against Holtzclaw, including four counts of forcible oral sodomy, two counts of first-degree rape, four counts of sexual battery, four counts of indecent exposure, one count of first-degree burglary and one count of stalking. The charges allege there are eight victims.
This is not a new phenomena.
Newsweek recently featured "Why Cops Get Away With Rape."
“[Officers] tend to choose victims who would lack so-called credibility in the eyes of other law enforcement, whether it was somebody who was engaged in sex work or whether it is somebody who was intoxicated or who was using drugs, and then they use that justification for why that person cannot be believed,” Marsh said.
“Unfortunately, this is more the norm than the exception,” she continues. “It’s hard to do research and find reliable statistics on a topic that nobody wants to speak about.” An unofficial study by the Cato Institute’s National Police Misconduct Reporting Project found that sexual misconduct is the second greatest of all civilian complaints nationwide against police officers, at 9.3 percent in 2010. The organization noted that 354 of the 618 officers under investigation for sexual offenses were accused of engaging in nonconsensual sexual acts, and just over half of the 354 cases involved minors.
Please read below the fold for more on this story.
Alternet also had the story "When Cops Rape ... and Nothing Happens" last year.
Not all women (and men) sexually assaulted by police are street sex-workers. They do tend to be from groups who rarely have the means to fight back.
The Oklahoma NAACP has called for a hate crimes investigation.
The president of the Oklahoma NAACP has written a letter to the U.S. attorney general requesting a federal hate crimes and civil rights investigation into alleged sexual assaults on black women by Oklahoma City police officer Daniel Ken Holtzclaw.
“The facts that have begun to emerge surrounding the Aug. 21, 2014, arrest of Oklahoma City Police Officer Holtzclaw raise potentially serious concerns, particularly because it may be part of a continuing pattern of police brutality, misconduct, corruption and the use of excessive force and the use of deadly force by this police officer against unarmed African Americans,” Anthony Douglas, president of the Oklahoma State Conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said in an Aug. 28 letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder Jr.
Douglas said news reports have suggested Holtzclaw’s actions “may be symptomatic of larger racial profiling of African Americans in Oklahoma City.”
Online social media activism on behalf of Holzclaw (shades of Zimmerman and Wilson) was mounted
Holtzclaw’s sister had initiated a campaign on GoFundMe To raise money for his legal defense. The site removed the campaign citing complaints, even though it would not heed calls to take down the lucrative fundraising campaign for Darren Wilson, the officer who shot Michael Brown. But in the first 72 hours, the campaign had raised nearly $7,000. And the campaign continued to solicit donations to fund Holtzclaw’s bail through its Facebook page. They are also selling t-shirts through that page with the messages “FREE THE CLAW” and “JUSTICE4DANIELHOLTZCLAW.”
There is a petition online
at Change.org which reads:
Black Women's Lives Matter: Fully prosecute Oklahoma City Police Officer Daniel Holtzclaw, revoke his bail and recommend his immediate firing from the Oklahoma City Police Department
Oklahoma City Police officer Daniel Ken Holtzclaw has been charged with 16 counts of first degree rape, sexual battery, indecent exposure, stalking, forcible oral sodomy and burglary against seven African American female victims. On September 5th Oklahoma County District Judge Timothy Henderson lowered Holtzclaw’s bail from $5 million to $500,000. Holtzclaw was released Friday after posting a cash bond and will wear a GPS monitor until his trial hearing on September 18th. Holtzclaw is a former football player and the son of a longtime city police officer. He is currently on paid leave. The victims in this case were all black women between the age of 34-58, living in predominantly poor and working class African American communities in Oklahoma's City Northeast side. Holtzclaw stalked most of these women and capitalized on their fear of arrest to exploit, sexually assault and intimidate them. He manipulated the racist/sexist stereotype of black women as hypersexual, socially expendable prostitutes in order to keep them silent...
This story is simply another example of why we need to seriously examine law enforcement practices. We already know the lives of many men in communities of color are at risk from police.
We need to speak up for women, too.