With the various accounts of excessive force being used, that had gone down this summer, American police are under the microscope, being scrutinized more than ever before. This summer, police brutality has taken many forms from the beating of Marlene Pinnock in California to the killings of Eric Garner, John Crawford, Mike Brown and Ezell Ford, all of the victims unarmed and Black. However, the misdeeds of an officer in Oklahoma City Police Department adds sexual assault to the list of violations.
According to News 9, officer Daniel Ken Holtzclaw was arrested on Thursday around 3 PM for various sex crimes including “rape in the first degree, rape by instrumentation, three counts of forcible sodomy, two counts of sexual battery and two counts indecent exposure.” The count of first degree rape alone can carry a five years to life sentence with no parole. Police Chief of Oklahoma City Bill Citty says that Holtzclaw has been on the force since 2011 and patrolled an area in the city’s northeast region. Statements have been recorded from six of the seven victims, all Black females aged 34-58. He reportedly violated them when he stopped them or would take them to another location.
Citty lamented, “It taints all of us, and the officers know that and they take it very personally. And it angers us that one of our people, one of our officers, that people trust to keep them safe, is doing just the opposite.”
Oklahoma City civil rights activists have called for a thorough rape investigation. Oklahoma NAACP President Anthony Douglas said, “We have some good officers on the force, but yet as we see today, we have a problem when it comes to African Americans and police officers.”