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Tuesday, 15 December 2015

When Cops Rape: Daniel Holtzclaw & the Vulnerability of Black Women to Police Abuse

former Oklahoma City police officer is facing life in prison for the
serial rapes of African-American women. An all-white jury convicted
Daniel Holtzclaw last week of rape and other crimes against eight of the
13 women who accused him. All 13 victims testified during the trial,
each with similar stories of rape, sexual assault, and threats if they
did not comply with Holtzclaw’s demands. Holtzclaw targeted them during
traffic stops and interrogations, forcing them into sexual acts in his
police car or in their homes. Prosecutors say he deliberately preyed on
vulnerable black women from low-income neighborhoods. He was reportedly
under investigation by the Oklahoma City police sex crimes unit six
weeks before his final crime. That means Holtzclaw assaulted half of the
women he was convicted of attacking while under investigation. While
Holtzclaw’s conviction may bring his victims some relief, the case has
raised questions about whether it’s part of a wider problem of devaluing
African-American lives, in this case African-American women. Despite
the charges and ultimate convictions of serial rape, the Holtzclaw
prosecution got far less corporate media attention than other criminal
trials. We hear from some of his victims and speak with three guests:
Kimberlé Crenshaw, law professor at UCLA and Columbia University and the
founder of the African American Policy Forum; and Candace Liger and
Grace Franklin, co-founders of OKC Artists for Justice, an Oklahoma
City-based advocacy group founded around the Holtzclaw case.

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