[Content Note: Sexual violence; misogynoir; police brutality.]
After more than 45 hours of deliberation by an all-white jury, Daniel Holtzclaw, the former Oklahoma City police officer who was standing trial on charges that he sexually assaulted 13 black women, was found guilty on 18 of 36 charges: Four counts of first-degree rape, one count of second-degree rape, six counts of sexual battery, four counts of forcible sodomy, and three counts of procuring lewd acts.
The jury recommended "a total of 263 years in prison. Formal sentencing will take place on Jan. 21."
Holtzclaw "sobbed as the verdict was read aloud." It was his birthday.
I hope this verdict brings some measure of peace to the women he victimized.
I want to note, however, that, of the 13 women who testified, Holtzclaw was found not guilty on all charges associated with five of them. I don't know how that feels, to be one of the victims whom the jury did not, for whatever reason, find as credible as other victims. So I just want to say to those women: I believe you.
And to all the women who did not come forward, or who tried and were disbelieved, or who could not, because they're sitting in a prison cell where Holtzclaw put them: I believe you, too.
I take up space in solidarity with all of the women victimized by Daniel Holtzclaw.
* * *
This should go without saying in this space, but I'm going to say it anyway: Wishing that Holtzclaw will be raped in prison is not welcome in this space. As a survivor and an anti-rape advocate, I can tell you that the solution to sexual violence is not more sexual violence. That isn't justice; it's just more harm of the same kind those of us trying to dismantle the rape culture are seeking to prevent.