African American Policy Forum Demands Justice for Holtzclaw Survivors

Organizers are demanding justice in the case involving former Oklahoma City Police Officer Daniel Holtzclaw, but they are also moving beyond the verdict and broadening the police-brutality conversation to include rampant sexual violence.

African American Policy Forum
African American Policy Forum

Daniel Holtzclaw, the former Oklahoma City police officer convicted on 18 of 36 charges of rape and sexual assault against seven black women and one underage black girl, will be sentenced Jan. 21.

Holtzclaw was found not guilty of similarly horrific crimes against five black women who were not given even the possibility of justice.

The African American Policy Forum—a human rights organization that centers on black women and girls, helmed by Executive Director Kimberle Crenshaw—has joined Oklahoma Artists 4 Justice in dedicating this week to making sure that awareness around the case remains heightened and that lovers of black women and girls remain engaged and energized as we aspire to bring justice in this case to its conclusion.

Crenshaw, the creator of #SayHerName and #WhyWeCantWait—both critical campaigns that address the marginalization of black women and girls from our communities all the way to the White House—stands with Holtzclaw survivors, “demanding that he serve each count of his sentence separately [potentially 263 years], just as he traumatized each of them individually.”

To that end, AAPF has launched Days of Accountability and Visibility: Oklahoma City.

Check out the details below to see how you can become more involved and be a part of the solution this week:

Jan. 19: Join the African American Policy Forum’s webinar—“Visibility and Accountability Beyond the Holtzclaw Verdict: Confronting the Sexual Abuse of Black Women by the Police”—at 2 p.m. EST. OKC activists Candace Liger and Grace Franklin will join national advocates including Kimberle Crenshaw and Barbara Arnwine to brief participants on actions they can take to support Holtzclaw’s victims and demand systemic change to our police system.

Jan. 19: Familiarize yourself, your loved ones and your networks with the forms of police violence perpetrated against women of color; read and share “Say Her Name: Resisting Police Brutality Against Black Women” (pdf) from AAPF and “Law Enforcement Violence Against Women of Color and Trans People of Color” (pdf) from INCITE!

Jan. 20: Join the Days of Visibility Twitter Storm at 1 p.m. EST. Using the hashtags #SayHerName, #BlackWomenMatter and #ItsNotOver, share your story of sexual assault, other stories you know and your thoughts on why the Holtzclaw case matters. Download AAPF’s tool kit (pdf) to help prepare yourself!

Jan. 20: Share a poem, reflection or artistic expression that sheds light on black women’s experiences of sexual assault on Facebook and Twitter. Together we can show that what happened to the OKC 13 was not an anomaly.