Photo: AP

The trail for Daniel Holtzclaw, the former Oklahoma City police officer accused of assaulting 13 women while on duty, began jury selection on Monday.

Holtzclaw is being tried on a myriad of charges, including rape, burglary, and sexual battery. Prosecutors allege he targeted vulnerable Black women in a low-income section of the city because he believed they would be too afraid to file a complaint.

Holtzclaw was arrested in August 2014 after his former colleagues completed a six-month investigation, which was started due to a complaint file by a  57-year-old grandmother named “J.L.” The woman said she was driving through the area when Holtzclaw stopped and assaulted her. Unlike the some of other victims, however, J.L. didn’t have a record and wasn’t afraid to file a report with police.

According to J.L., Holtzclaw pulled her over and made her lift her shirt and pull down her pants during a search. When he didn’t find anything illegal, J.L. claimed Holtzclaw unzipped his pants and directed her to give him oral sex.

After J.L. filed a report with the sex crimes division, detectives revisited an earlier complaint about an unidentified officer accused of assault. Oklahoma City detectives then used the department’s tracking software to evaluate Holtzclaw’s movements and identify more victims.

The Associate Press gives more details:

J.L.’s accusations made Davis and a fellow detective curious about an unsolved report filed five weeks earlier in which an unidentified officer was accused of stopping a woman and coercing her into oral sex.

According to pretrial testimony, the detectives reviewed the names of women Holtzclaw had come into contact with on his 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. shift and interviewed each one, saying they had a tip she may have been assaulted by an officer. Most said they had not been victimized but, among those who said they were, other links to Holtzclaw were found, Davis said in court. The GPS device on his patrol car put him at the scene of the alleged incidents, and department records showed he called in to check all but one of the women for warrants, the detective testified.

By the time the investigation concluded, the detectives had assembled a six-month narrative of alleged sex crimes they said started Dec. 20, 2013, with a woman taken into custody and hospitalized while high on angel dust. Dressed in a hospital gown, her right wrist handcuffed to the bedrail, the woman said Holtzclaw coerced her into performing oral sex, suggesting her cooperation would lead to dropped charges.

“I didn’t think that no one would believe me,” she testified at a pretrial hearing. “I feel like all police will work together.”

In spite of the horrific nature of Holtzclaw’s accused crimes, he isn’t an anomaly. After conducting a year-long investigation, the Associated Press uncovered “1,000 officers who lost their badges in a six-year period for rape, sodomy and other sexual assault; sex crimes that included possession of child pornography; or sexual misconduct such as propositioning citizens or having consensual but prohibited on-duty intercourse.” Even more alarming? The AP found the number is likely much higher because the issue is underreported.

Holtzclaw faces 36 counts, including rape, sexual battery and forcible oral sodomy.

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  • Jo ‘Mama’ Besser

    If I remember correctly, that number doesn’t even include NYC and LA. Jesus wept.

  • This story is one that must be shown. Many cops have raped and abused black women worldwide. Daniel Holtzclaw is a person that I have no respect for. A grandmother said that she was sexually assaulted by him. This male piece of work raped a black grandmother and other black women too. This story should make anyone express indignant anger at a corrupt system and we want rapists who harm innocent victims to be imprisoned. This is a total outrage. The lives of black women have been harmed by many people and we should always stand up for the human dignity of black women. The victims have the right to show their testimonies to court and I hope that justice is served.

    • elle D.

      Amen Brother T, smh.

    • Thank you Sister. This story is truly sad. We express empathy towards the victims.

    • elle D.

      Yes Indeed.

    • Right Sister.

  • Mary Burrell

    Castrate this savage and throw him under the jail

  • Chazz A

    This male is a serial rapist and he deserves to be sentenced to prison, in general pop. for the rest of his pathetic life. With over 1000 so-called cops fired for sex offenses, how many of those got jobs in law enforcement elsewhere?
    These predators need lengthy convictions and should never get rehired as cops in any PD in this country!

  • HighFashionJunkie

    Now if this was a bunch of white women that had been victimized, the story would be crammed down our throats via Dateline, 48 hrs., 20/20, CNBC, CNN, Investigative Discovery, etc., but because the victims are black, we haven’t heard anything on it since he was arrested LAST YEAR, maybe bits & pieces here & there but nothing much!

    • Right on Sister. I heard of this story before and the mainstream media refuses to cover it. We all know the reason why. The cop worshipers definitely won’t talk about this story either.

    • HighFashionJunkie

      Right. (Sidenote: he doesn’t look fully anglo, like he is mixed w/something, not that it matters, but just something i noticed)

    • He’s from Oklahoma. A lot of people in Oklahoma have Native American heritage. Yes, it doesn’t matter. A lot of white folks who are from Oklahoma have some Native American heritage down the line.

    • HighFashionJunkie

      Oh ok, i knew it was something, thnx for clarifying :-)

    • You’re welcome. :-)