Daniel Holtzclaw, the former cop who was convicted on 18 of 36 counts for raping and assaulting eight Black women in Oklahoma City, is now serving his 263 years consecutively in prison as decided today at a sentencing hearing.
Holtzclaw’s lawyers were also denied in their request to have a new trial by the judge on the case.
According to local Reporter Tom George of OKCFOX, the state decided that Holtzclaw could not be rehabilitated because he does not believe in his own guilt.
After being read his sentencing decision before a full court that was open to the public, Holtzclaw, 29, has reportedly been taken back into custody to begin his prison term. This time, Holtzclaw held his composure in court, though he allegedly struggled to look at his victims in the face. His lawyers say they plan to appeal.
The former cop’s victims are delivering impact statements today following the announcement. Attorney Benjamin Crump is expected to speak today as well; he represented five of the women in the case and the families of Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin in their respective police brutality cases.
Thirteen Black women from the Oklahoma City area came forward with stories of being raped and assaulted by Holtzclaw when the case began in November of 2015. The Holtzclaw attacked the women while on duty between the months of February and June in 2014. Victims say they were frequently confronted when they were alone and vulnerable; some women testified that Holtzclaw used his authority to lure them into his police car and drive them to abandoned areas to force himself on them. All claimed that they submitted to Holtzclaw’s unwanted advances after he threatened to arrest them if they refused.
Police Chief Bill Citty denies being aware of Holtzclaw’s criminal activity, saying: “If you would have told me I had a serial rapist on my department before this happened, I would have just said that would never happen.”
Women’s groups and Black institutions like OKC Artists 4 Justice, African American Policy Forum and the NAACP’s Oklahoma City chapter have been gathering in the area for days to offer support to Holtzclaw’s victims and continue bringing awareness to the trial.
On Tuesday, the president of the local NAACP chapter spoke to city council members, demanding that they reform the way they represent the city’s most marginalized victims.
Connie Johnson, a concerned citizen and retired state senator echoed the NAACP chapter’s arguments, saying:
“In [Holtzclaw’s] mind they were among the people whose lives don’t matter. “Our values as black women have been assaulted and insulted.”
Check HelloBeautiful.com for more updates on the Holtzclaw trial.