Trump World Grab-Bag--A Collection

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Daniel Holtzclaw Should Be in Prison For A Long Time

Former OK police officer Daniel Holtzclaw was found by a jury to be guilty of 18 out of 36 charges of rape and sexual assault. As I pointed out earlier, he used his position in an abusive way to prey on specifically women of color who were vulnerable before the legal system. He basically told them to submit to him because otherwise, they would go to jail. And because that could destroy them economically, because it threatened the lives of their families, because they were certain that they would not be believed by law enforcement if they tried to bring charges, he almost got away with doing that.

But he didn't. Some came forward, and the jury heard them out, and that jury believed he should go away for a long time. Holtzclaw began weeping when the verdict began to be read. I sincerely think it's because he thought he would be found innocent. He didn't think a jury would consider that those women mattered enough.

They did, though. They absolutely did.

3 comments:

mikey said...

Yeah. I'm trying to figure out how to say this in my own piece. His reaction - sobbing, shaking, screaming denials to the end - is informative. Beyond simply abusing the incredible imbalance of power, beyond simply choosing and exploiting the most vulnerable, least credible part of his community, in a way he truly doesn't believe he was doing anything wrong. Just as the suburban homeowner knows no compunction in killing the raccoon that empties and scatters his garbage can, Holtzclaw and those like him see these people through a de-humanized lens. They aren't worthy of protection, they aren't THE SAME as the white, law abiding members of the community. They are their to be policed, and they are their to be preyed upon.

When we do see justice meted out to criminals and sociopaths in the law enforcement community, I find it especially satisfying. He's going to spend the rest of his life in the Oklahoma penitentiary system. Overwhelmingly black, routinely violent and unforgiving, he'll run into familiar faces, and not only will he be incarcerated, he will be exploited and preyed upon. His time in prison will be significantly harder, more brutal, more stressful, more emotionally costly than it is to the African Americans who form the base of the incarcerated community.

And yes. I'm very much ok with that...

mikey said...

Ugh. Feel free to fix my 'theirs' if they bug you....

Vixen Strangely said...

Some people on my Twitter TL expressed disbelief--they weren't DH supporters but were anxious, as BLM supporters and/or violence survivors, that the outcome would be different because they simply had seen too many people have enough privilege to get every benefit of the doubt--even to the extent that doubt could be manufactured an the accused's behalf. He was found guilty on only half of the charges--and knowing that not all victims step forward and that not being found guilty is more a question of whether sufficient evidence was or could be brought--the damage he did was probably greater than what we know of. But I think the sum of seeing him brought to some kind of justice is definitely satisfying. If it's an example for survivors that they can get justice collectively, which lends strength to their claims, that's positive. If it discourages this kind of abuse and sends a warning that there are no "disposable" or second-class people, that's positive, too.