The Daniel Holtzclaw trial is now into its fourteenth day.
It is a trial that mainstream media has essentially ignored, possibly because of who the victims are and who the allegations are against.
Holtzclaw, a former Oklahoma City police officer, faces 36 counts of rape, sexual battery, and forcible oral sodomy of 13 Black women and if convicted (by an all White male jury) could be sent to prison for the rest of his life.
On Wednesday, Candace Liger, co-founder of OKC Artists for Justice joined Roland Martin on NewsOne Now to discuss the latest developments in the case. Liger’s organization has been live Tweeting the Holtzclaw case since it began 14 days ago.
According to media reports a number of the victims are felons who were brought into court shackled and wearing orange prison jumpsuits. During Tuesday’s proceedings, Holtzclaw’s defense team attacked witnesses and asked “why didn’t they call police” after they were raped by Holtzclaw, who at the time was a Oklahoma City police officer. The defense even attempted to highlight the prior drug history of a number of the victims.
Liger explained on NewsOne Now, “What we are seeing here is kind of a sophisticated level of victim blaming on the judicial level.”
“The defense — Scott Adams, his whole method of operation is pretty much trying to character assassinate the victims along with pretty much promote the idea that their credibility isn’t warranted, they’re not capable of remembering these occurrences,” said Liger
In discussing the way several of Holtzclaw’s alleged victims were brought to court to testify, Liger said, “I think it’s to promote that these women are not rape-able. These women have criminal history or this past drug addiction or they have these situations that make them vulnerable.”
She continued to explain that the defense is attempting to damage the victims credibility by having those who are currently incarcerated appear in court in orange jumpsuits.
Liger noted in her coverage of the trial that Holtzclaw has engaged in “intimidation tactics” by “staring down” each of the victims as they entered into court. Liger told Martin that in one instance a Holtzclaw supporter “took a picture of one of the victims after they left the court room.”
NewsOne Now panelist Parris Dennard, a Republican strategist, expressed outrage that national women’s, national civil rights organizations and human rights organizations “have not come to the aid or defend … or go after these rouge predators when these incidents occur.”
Dennard went on to call out members of his political party saying, “You can be pro-gun, you can be pro-police, you can be pro-police union and be anti and be against these horrible actions by these cops.”
“It is time now that we stand up nd say enough is enough, partisanship aside we can be vocal and be demonstrative on this effort and on this issue, but you don’t see it there is a silence and it has to end,” said Dennard.
Watch Roland Martin and the NewsOne Now panel discuss the Daniel Holtzclaw trial in the video clip above.
Subscribe to the “NewsOne Now” Audio Podcast on iTunes.