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Daniel Ken Holtzclaw: Sex on patrol? Cop sexually abused eight minority women

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Daniel Ken Holtzclaw, a three year patrolman with the Oklahoma City Police Department, has been placed on leave after multiple black women in the community have stepped forward alleging sexual abuse. Holtzclaw, 27, is accused of abusing his shield and committing a series of sexual assaults – rape, unwanted groping, forced exposure and coerced fellatio.

Writes The Associated Press: “Residents of a neighborhood where an Oklahoma City officer is accused of sexually assaulting women said Saturday the allegations make them distrust police. The women were all black and between the ages of 34 and 58, but it's not clear if race played a role in the alleged crimes. Police documents show that some were picked up off the street, while others were assaulted after being pulled over for traffic stops.”

Holtzclaw currently sits at the Oklahoma County Jail in lieu of $5 million bond. Formal charges are expected soon.

Holtzclaw’s worked a 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. shift in a racially-mixed, middle to low income section in northeast Oklahoma City. Victims have said that Holtzclaw’s well known street abuses have eroded public trust in the police force.

The AP spoke with residents in the neighborhood.

“I'm already scared of [the police] anyway,” said 34-year-old Seantah Graham as she pushed her one-year-old in a stroller. “They've pretty much got power in the palm of their hand. And it's your word against theirs.”

Resident Tammy Bell, 45, said they had all heard rumors about Holtzclaw’s alleged antics – pulling someone over or stopping them in the street, then making them perform forced oral sodomy.

“They didn't want to think it was the police doing all this. They kind of laid it to the side,” Bell said, speaking of the Oklahoma City PD.

Ashfaq Baig, 67, said Holtzclaw would stop into the Checkers Convenience Store where he worked. “When you need directions, you go to a police officer. Now, we can't trust anybody,” Baig said. “It's very hard.”

Writes the AP:

Jesse Hill, 55, said many women in the neighborhood did not go out at night because of concerns about being assaulted.

“It's about power now,” said Hill, who is black. “When you see a cop, you don't know whether to stop or not. There's no service like there used to be. They don't care.”

In light of the community outcry, Oklahoma City Police Chief Bill Citty called a press conference to address the allegations:

“Trust is something that we are constantly having to work on,” Citty said. “When something like this happens, I have to hope that most of the community realizes that our officers, 99.9 percent of them, are trustworthy, and when something like this happens, our officers take this very personally.

“We started the investigation and we started looking at traffic stops he had made throughout the previous months to try to identify and initiate contact with females that we knew he had stopped during that period of time, just to see if they had been sexually assaulted,” Citty said.

“We are releasing the picture and if there is anyone that was victimized by this officer, we certainly want to hear from them,” Citty said.

Holtzclaw was also one of four Oklahoma City police officers named in a wrongful-death lawsuit. The mother of 38-year-old Clifton Armstrong, a black man who was addicted to crystal meth, filed the suit after her son died last year. The lawsuit alleges that police used excessive force to restrain Armstrong, who called 911 himself after “seeing dragons” in a drug induced state of paranoia.

The state medical examiner attributed Armstrong’s death as “Excited Syndrome due to methamphetamine toxicity,” and wrote that his physical altercation with police was an “aggravating factor to his death.”

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