Officer Daniel Holtzclaw has been found guilty of rape.
We were very pleased to see a jury conviction in the trial of police officer Daniel Holtzclaw this week. We have been following the case since we first came across coverage in the online media For Harriet in September 2014. As with many activists, we did not believe that Holtzclaw, a white police officer, would be found guilty of the sexual abuse, exploitation and rape of Black women, particularly vulnerable Black women involved in prostitution. Holtzclaw's defence was predicated on racism, poverty and victim blaming myths about rape culture. These myths are perpetuated by mainstream media and are a constant feature of our formal complaints to media. This trial was different. Rather than calling out inappropriate, misleading or offensive coverage of the trial, we supported the Black women activists in the US pointing out the issue of silence. There was very little mainstream media coverage of Holtzclaw's arrest or the trial. This silence perpetuates rape culture just as much as the use of rape myths.
Media silence about male violence against women and girls harms is dangerous and we need to support the independent media who did report Holtzclaw's crimes.
Below are the tweets we wrote after Hoytzclaw was convicted of 18 of the 36 counts in the indictment. the charges ranged from indecent exposure to stalking, forcible sodomy and rape.
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