Justice

Former Oklahoma Cop Daniel Holtzclaw Was Just Sentenced

Daniel Holtzclaw, the former Oklahoma City police officer convicted in December on a slew of sexual assault charges, was sentenced on Thursday to 263 consecutive years in prison.

Among the charges brought against the former officer were four counts of first-degree rape, forced oral sodomy, and sexual battery — all allegedly carried out against Black women. The sentencing was repeatedly delayed on Thursday after lawyers requested a new trial, but a judge ultimately denied that request, according to local news reports

Related: You Should Know The Story of Former Oklahoma Cop Daniel Holtzclaw

In an emotional hearing in December, during which he wept openly and rocked back and forth in his chair, Holtzclaw was charged with 18 of the 36 sexual assault counts brought against him, and was dealt a recommended sentence of more than 260 years. 

The former officer's case comes at a time when the issue of overzealous police tactics — especially against minority and poor communities — are in the spotlight. But it also represents a uniquely sinister application of the abusive use of force by police. In December, Holtzclaw was convicted of sex crimes against eight of the 13 Black women who accused him of using his position of power to garner sexual favors. 

Prosecutors said that Holtzclaw specifically targeted women in already vulnerable positions. 

Related: Daniel Holtzclaw's Accusers Teach Us A Lot About Rape Culture

"He didn't choose CEOs or soccer moms; he chose women he could count on not telling what he was doing," said Lori McConnell, a prosecutor, in December, Reuters reported. "He counted on the fact that no one would believe them and no one would care." 

Holtzclaw's case was also included in an Associated Press report in November detailing issues of sexual misconduct meted out by police officers.