Sex Crimes

Rapist Cop Daniel Holtzclaw Shows Why It's Wrong to Fixate on Campus Sexual Violence

Victims were poor women of color

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Daniel Holtzclaw

Daniel Holtzclaw, a 29-year-old former Oklahoma City police officer, was convicted yesterday of raping eight women. He was found guilty on 18 of 36 counts—five other women accused him of assault and rape as well. His jury recommended a sentence of 263 years in prison.

His victims, according to BuzzFeed News, were mostly poor women of color. Many of them had been in trouble with the law before, and thought they would be disbelieved—or subjected to additional sanctions, or perhaps more violence—if they reported Holtzclaw's crimes. The officer took advantage of their vulnerability, frequently stopping them and then promising not to take them to jail in exchange for sexual favors. The testimonies of the women are chilling.

"I was scared," said one. "About him being an officer. I was nervous and I felt like even though I didn't have no warrants that he might make up something on me and send me into jail any way. I know that like I've been in trouble before, so I mean like, who am I to a police officer?"

"I didn't think nobody was going to believe me anyway," said another. "And I'm a drug addict, so the only way I knew to handle it was to go and get high to try to block it out, to make it seem like it didn't happen."

Hotlzclaw is a monster, and he's clearly a serial sexual predator. This, in fact, is exactly what serial perpetration looks like: the offender is someone with institutional power, and he chose his victims from among the most marginalized people in society.

But keep in mind that people like Holtzclaw are supposedly committing most of the rapes on college campuses, too—at least according to the under-scrutinized work of Dr. David Lisak, whose theories about serial college predators undergird the national outcry over campus sexual assault. In recent weeks, Reason has chipped away at that assumption by showing how Lisak's theory is based upon misleading data, exaggeration, and outright falsehood. No one is saying serial predators don't exist, just that the evidence supposedly demonstrating their prevalence on college campuses is scarce. Serial predators are out there, taking advantage of vulnerable women, but I highly suspect police departments are a better place to find them than college campuses.

Indeed, the conviction of Daniel Holtzclaw is a good reminder that law enforcement is plagued by a culture of sexual abuse. As Reason's Elizabeth Nolan Brown reported last month:

The Connecticut police officer who handcuffed and sexually assaulted a teen he met through a program for youth interested in becoming cops. The Florida officer who threatened more than a dozen immigrant men with deportation if they didn't sexually service him. The Oklahoma City officer who extorted sex from women he pulled over for traffic stops. These are just three of many, many sex crimes committed by U.S. police officers over the past several years. A new Associated Press investigation has turned up hundreds of officers fired for sexual offenses ranging from rape to voyeurism to possession of child pornography, and police policies both official and unofficial that make life easy for sex-predator cops. 

"It's happening probably in every law enforcement agency across the country," Sarasota Police Chief Bernadette DiPino, who helped study the issue for the International Association of Chiefs of Police, told AP. "It's so underreported, and people are scared that if they call and complain about a police officer, they think every other police officer is going to be then out to get them."

It's also a good reminder that the supposed campus rape crisis has captured a disproportionate share of the outrage over sexual assault. While truly terrible things can and do happen to female students, they are less likely to become victims of violence than non-college women. That shouldn't be surprising; college students are among the most privileged people in modern society, and wealthy, intelligent people commit and suffer fewer violent crimes than the under-privileged. And yet the federal government is so worried about serial predators on campuses that it's forcing colleges to create extra-legal tribunals that have the power to expel accused students without even the pretense of due process. Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York) have proposed legislation that would exacerbate due process concerns. Meanwhile, many in the media remain captivated by campus rape allegations, some of them dubious.

It's great that Holtzclaw's victims received justice. The best thing we can do for women like them is to focus our efforts to reduce rape in places where we can do the most good, even if that cuts against the fact-free consensus that colleges are uniquely dangerous places.

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  1. He has a serious case of George Zimmerman face.

  2. Indeed, the conviction of Daniel Holtzclaw is a good reminder that law enforcement is plagued by a culture of sexual abuse.

    Law enforcement does seem to draw a certain type. But you should always follow their instructions. There is no prescription for disobeying police commands.

    1. What if you can’t understand their commands due to extreme drawl, or if their voice is muffled by one or more chins? Do you just do nothing, or do you try to guess what they are saying?

      1. You do what you’re instructed to do. I don’t know how much clearer that needs to be made to you.

        1. “Freeze! Hands where i can see ’em! Freeze! Down on the ground, now! Hands up! Freeze!”

          1. “…That’s what it’s all about!”

            1. “Hands up! Hands behind your back! Freeze! Hands on the car! Let me see some ID- he’s reaching for his pocket!” BLAM BLAM BLAM BLAM BLAM BLAM BLAM BLAM BLAM BLAM BLAM BLAM BLAM BLAM

  3. It’s like middle class welfare: the social concerns of the relatively well-off trump the concerns of actual marginalized people.

    That’s how democracy works. It just pretends to care about marginalized people, using them as human shields to justify middle class socialism.

  4. Looks like a Mongoloid.

    1. I think they “microaggressions” article is over that way….

  5. His jury recommended a sentence of 263 years in prison.

    It’s time for common sense sentencing reform. How is ever supposed to provide any compensation to his victims if he spends the next 263 years in prison? I say we sentence him to 263 years of hard labor doing some lucrative, but highly dangerous job. If he refuses or dies, we sell him for parts on the organ market.

    1. Actually, the more I think about it, the more I like this idea. Reform sentencing so that people get sentence in years and in dollars. The dollars to compensate victims for the crime. Something like medical bills plus $100k per rape, or whatever. He has to serve at least his minimum sentence, but he also has to pay the dollar fine. And he can only do that by taking on jobs while in prison. And anything goes. Gladiator job, nuclear reactor rapid response team, Donald Trump food taster. Anything goes. Prisoners then bid on the jobs to make money to pay the compensation to their victims and maybe to pay for their incarceration too.

      1. So you want to combine the prison system with a return of weregild?

        1. He turns into a bag of gold when the moon is full?

          [extremely offensive ethnic joke omitted]

      2. Assuming that all victimless crimes are off the books, that’s not a terrible idea.

        1. Right. If someone is arrested for possession, it is only a matter of time before the state takes the fine. And it has more incentive to throw folks in jail.

  6. Hotlzclaw is a monster, and he’s clearly a serial sexual predator. This, in fact, is exactly what serial perpetration looks like: the offender is someone with institutional power, and he chose his victims from among the most marginalized people in society.

    You forgot to quote your White Privilege Studies textbook in support of this Fact.

    1. Charles Manson, please pick up the white courtesy phone.

  7. I linked this last night, but his salty ham tears during sentencing were so delicious.

    http://jezebel.com/ex-cop-dani…..1747097908

    1. He probably shouldn’t have done all those rapes, i guess.

      1. Well, I think he knows that now.

        1. “I’ve made a huge mistake.”

          1. It wasn’t all that huge, I bet.

  8. Victims were poor women of color

    Would it be better if they weren’t?

    1. I don’t think that’s the point at all. The left, who are the ones always talking about “privilege” in the first place, seem to care far more about campus sexual assault, which is both rarer than off-campus sexual assault and primarily happens to white girls, than this kind of case.

      1. The “black lives matter” and “campus rape epidemic” factions might have some overlap but they are largely two different groups of people, even if they’re both on “the left”. The former would be satisfied if white people were punished more often, and the latter would be satisfied if men were punished more often. We should be encouraging them to fight each other rather than to find common ground, if you ask me.

        But the larger point I was making remains the same. It doesn’t matter who this man raped, as far as the law should be concerned, it only matters that he faces the same penalties for those crimes as everyone else. Which seems to be what is happening.

    2. I prefer my victims to be rich and transparent…

  9. “Many of them had been in trouble with the law before, and thought they would be disbelieved?or subjected to additional sanctions, or perhaps more violence?if they reported Holtzclaw’s crimes.”

    Yeah, this happens to most rape and sexual assault victims. Gamergaters/MRAs/whoever constantly pushing the idea that people commonly lie about having been raped or sexually assaulted, and this helps guys like Daniel Holtzclaw, which I think is the (overall) intent.

    1. Trouble is – sexual assault claims are more often lies than for any other crime.

    2. “Gamergaters/MRAs/whoever constantly pushing the idea that people commonly lie about having been raped or sexually assaulted, ”
      Yeah and then they prove it by showing case after case of people lying about sexual assault.

      “and this helps guys like Daniel Holtzclaw, which I think is the (overall) intent.”
      Holtzclaw wasn’t helped by gamergate or MRAs, he was helped by people with ACTUAL POWER. Specifically cops, who are known to cover for their own.

      Look we’re sorry that witch hunts aren’t in style any more we feel your pain – is delicious and justified.

  10. “For each of the 36 counts, the jurors, who were all white”
    Damm Whitey!

    1. From Jeze-hell website

  11. of color

    such a dumb phrase

  12. What is it going to take before America gets sick enough of the police in general that we abolish the whole corrupt system? With violence if necessary, and likely preferable?

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