An ex-Oklahoma City police officer will truly have a jury of his peers.
In a trial that began Tuesday in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Daniel Holtzclaw, who is White, faces 36 counts of rape, sexual battery, and forcible oral sodomy of 13 Black women. Problem is, there are no Black women or men on the jury, according to Think Progress. The panel does have women–four who are White.
“Traffic stops, some of the individuals were actually just walking,” the chief admitted in 2014. “Walking in their neighborhood and they were stopped, you know, searched, threatened in some way with arrest or something to that extent. And as a result of that, actually coerced them into providing sexual favors to him.”
One of those women was 17-years-old when Holtzclaw raped her. The anonymous teen had an outstanding warrant for trespassing, which the officer used as a reason to approach her in front of her mother’s house. Holtzclaw allegedly said that the girl was also concealing drugs, before he groped her breasts, pulled down her underwear, and raped her on her mother’s porch.
Holtzclaw maintains his innocence. Indeed, while everyone is innocent until proven guilty, he has a better shot than most to escape conviction, given the makeup of the jury.
Watch Roland Martin, Grace Franklin, Co-Founder, Artist for Justice and the NewsOne Now panel discuss the case against Daniel Holtzclaw and the lack of diversity in the jury that will decide on Holtzcaw’s guilt of innocence.