Why is Daniel Holtzclaw’s Fate Being Decided by an All-White Jury?

By Sameer Rao Nov 05, 2015

News outlets revealed yesterday that the jury in the trial against ex-Oklahoma City police officer Daniel Holtzclaw is made up exclusively of white jurors. We reported Monday on the beginning of the trial against Holtzclaw, who has been charged with the rape and sexual assault of twelve women and one teenager. Most of his alleged victims are black.

Ultimately, Holtzclaw is being charged with 36 separate counts, including first-degree rape, stalking and burglary. Writing for the New York Daily News, journalist and activist Shaun King cited an Oklahoma City-based reporter’s Twitter when describing how Tuesday’s jury selection process ended up with this composition:

Every eligible African-American juror was removed from consideration and the final jury selection was composed of eight white men and four white women. Not one black woman even made it into the final larger pool of jurors. Three black men made it into that pool, but were each removed. Not even the alternate jurors were black. 

Several of the women who reported that Holtzclaw raped them testified during trial hearings yesterday. One of the witnesses repeated a story similar to others from women accusing Holtzclaw—that he pulled her over, told her to remove her clothing under the guise of looking for drugs, then forced himself on her. Holtzclaw’s attorneys cited police reports indicating prior drug possession arrests in an attempt to discredit her. 

(H/t New York Daily News, KOCO.com