Thursday, March 30, 2017
Should This Policeman Be In Prison?
His supporters say that no one deserves a new trial more than Daniel Holtzclaw, the former Oklahoma City police officer convicted of being a serial rapist and sentenced to 263 years in prison. Holtzclaw has maintained his innocence from the start, and unlike the case with his accusers, his recounting of the facts has never changed.
On the other hand, he was found guilty at trial, with 13 accusers, and that makes most people lose interest in the case almost immediately, assuming that where there’s smoke, there’s fire and he must be guilty.
My own interest in this case was spurred by the fact that I work with Michelle Malkin, the firebrand conservative columnist. My company has syndicated Malkin’s column to hundreds of newspapers and websites across the country since 1999, and many times she has gone out on a limb in her reporting — and I don’t ever recall her getting it wrong.
So I was startled to see her two-part documentary on Daniel Holtzclaw, “Daniel in the Den,” which is available on CRTV, a new online television channel that features Mark Levin and other conservatives.
I was startled because I had seen Juju Chang’s report on the Holtzclaw case on “20/20,” “What the Dash Cam Never Saw," and just assumed that Daniel was guilty. Chang followed the story as it existed — meaning Holtzclaw had been found guilty and the reporter assumed he was guilty because of that — and the audience was left with the impression that of course he was guilty.
But Malkin asks, “What if he is innocent?” And then she takes us on a journey. She points out some amazing flaws that occurred during the trial itself, and she says the jurors — who ultimately said it was the DNA that convinced them — based their decision on what she characterizes as false and misleading statements about the DNA evidence by the prosecuting attorney, backed up by her interview with DNA scientist Dan Krane of Wright State University.
I am writing this in hopes that other journalists will look into this case. Of course, if the state got it right — that eight of the 13 women were true victims of Daniel Holtzclaw — then he got all that he deserved in the sentencing. The image of someone using the power of the state — as a policeman with a gun targeting drug addicts and prostitutes, feeling confident that they would never complain precisely because they were drug addicts and prostitutes and no one would believe them — is beyond contemptible.
This explains why there is such a visceral reaction to the case. For example, a writer for SB Nation wrote a long piece shortly after Holtzclaw’s conviction that was perceived to be sympathetic to Holtzclaw, and everyone went nuts. SB Nation fired the writer and an editor who worked on the story and took the piece off the website within hours. Nearly 100 percent of the comments condemned Holtzclaw as a monster who preyed on the most vulnerable. What was interesting about that “sympathetic” portrayal of Holtzclaw was that the story assumed Daniel was guilty and the author was addressing the reason he would have done these vicious deeds that were so out of character. The people he talked to who knew Holtzclaw described someone totally different from the villain who was found guilty in court.
But that only reinforces Malkin’s question. What if the state got it wrong? What if the incidents never happened, or what if they got the wrong policeman? After all, many of the witness statements described someone other than Holtzclaw. (“He was a black man” or “He had blond hair” or “He was short.”)
Daniel Holtzclaw was always big for his age, even in childhood.
The SB Nation reporter spent months talking to one person after another, and each one said what a wonderful human being Daniel Holtzclaw is. The article was trying to understand what had happened to cause him to become a serial rapist. Could it have been too many head traumas from football? Or maybe it was steroids or his rejection by the NFL. None of it made any sense to his friends. In fact, the only explanation that would make sense in light of the seemingly endless stream of character references is that he is innocent. But if he is innocent, why was he found guilty?
The case against Daniel Holtzclaw appears to have been created by two detectives in the Oklahoma City Police Department who said they decided early on that he was guilty. One of those is retired Detective Kim Davis, who said she was convinced from the beginning that the accuser was telling the truth. The other detective, Rocky Gregory, eventually concluded that Holtzclaw is a “psychopath,” and both detectives were determined to prove their suspicions correct.
There are a number of analyses of this case on YouTube. There are two that I found especially intriguing. I’m not sure who the analysts are, and I can’t vouch for their character, but both break down a lot of complicated reporting into easy-to-understand explanations. One is by Diana Davison (https://youtu.be/OIL-fbJL3as), and the other is by someone who calls himself Ferg (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KfksNwbGl68). They talk the way people might converse in a bar, especially Ferg, so if offensive language bothers you, at least you have been warned.
Then there was the involvement of Artists for Justice, an Oklahoma City group whose thinking parallels the Black Lives Matter movement. Its members’ voices were heard inside the courtroom, even when they were protesting outside the building. They were shouting that the jury must convict. “We want life!” was one of their standard refrains.
No change of venue? Is it enough for the judge to tell the jurors to ignore all those shouts day after day?
This was all occurring during the “summer of Ferguson,” when riots made the nightly news. There were riots in Baltimore, too, after Freddie Gray’s death. A half-dozen Baltimore police officers were charged, but there was not a single conviction.
Many things struck me when I watched Michelle Malkin’s report, but the image that sticks in my mind is of Daniel Holtzclaw, a 27-year-old police officer at the time, being questioned by Detectives Kim Davis and Rocky Gregory. They told him that a woman he had pulled over claimed that he had forced her to perform oral sex for 10 seconds.
It is painful to watch the two-hour interrogation of Holtzclaw, which is available on YouTube. The investigating detectives, Davis and Gregory, are clearly obsessed by his size. Holtzclaw was a star football player in high school and at Eastern Michigan University, and he was a 6’1” bodybuilder with huge muscles at the time of the interview. This clearly intimidates the investigators, because they keep saying such things as, “You sure are a big guy” and “What a big fellow you are.” They even joke about the size of his private parts and yuk it up.
Holtzclaw, who grew up in a Christian household and has a Bible verse tattooed on his shoulder, puts his head down and is clearly embarrassed.
Holtzclaw’s father is white, and his mother Japanese, and the family — Daniel, his parents and his two sisters — is proud of its biracial heritage. Watching Daniel in the interrogation room, I could totally see a Japanese influence. Kim Davis said she assumed he was guilty because his answers were “robotic.“ He had not acted offended or raised his voice to a scream when she was throwing vicious charges at him; instead, he had simply answered “yes” or “no” to her questions. She told Juju Chang that if an investigator had asked her those same questions, her “voice would probably (have gone) up 10 octaves. ‘What?! I didn't do that!’”
Growing up in a biracial home, the Holtzclaws exposed Daniel and his sisters to the Japanese culture of their mother, Kumiko.
But Daniel’s sister Jenny says the household was quiet and devoid of shouting and screaming. Asked about his replies during the interrogation, she said, “That’s just Daniel. That’s how he talks.” Daniel’s father spent his career with the military and the police, and his mother, who also was a police officer in Japan, taught their children to respect authority and answer questions politely and not raise their voices 10 octaves. I described the interrogation to a Japanese-American friend and asked what she thought. She used the word “respectful” rather than “robotic” to describe his “yes” or “no” answers. “This was Oklahoma meets Japan,” she said.
The interrogation starts off with Davis telling Holtzclaw that he has the right to an attorney, and he says, in essence, “Why would I want an attorney? I didn’t do anything wrong.” She says they may find his DNA on the alleged victim, and he says they should go ahead and test her because they won’t find anything, seeing as nothing happened. His message (in my paraphrasing) was, “Test me all you want. Take my DNA. Give me a lie detector test. And test her as much as you can. You will see that she is making this up. It never happened.” Diana Davison breaks down the details of this interrogation in a way that is very amusing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJFb3KZsa4g.
So after questioning Holtzclaw and his accuser, the police did perform scientific tests, and the resulting data confirmed what he was saying during his interrogation. The SANE exam and all fingerprint and DNA tests corroborated Holtzclaw’s story and not the accuser’s, yet the detectives ignored the forensic evidence and built a case by going through hundreds of reports that he had made in his three years as a cop, and they managed to find a dozen women who agreed to testify against him. And now most of those same women are working with Michael Brown attorney Benjamin Crump to sue the city for a big payday.
Crump put it succinctly. This is not about Daniel Holtzclaw, he said. This is about “social justice” and centuries of oppression. Holtzclaw’s conviction was “a statement for 400 years of racism, oppression and sexual assault on black women.”
As Matthew Philbin of NewsBusters commented, "that certainly is a lot of weight to put on the verdict of a single trial involving a single cop and flies in the face of notions of blind justice. Whatever the actual truth in the case, Holtzclaw was tried and convicted in the court of public opinion."
Much was made in the media about Daniel’s reaction to the verdict, where he broke down in tears. The video went viral on the internet, and many people have been quoted as saying that this was the reaction of a guilty man who thought he was going to get off. He was shocked that the jury believed his accusers and not him. But that strikes me as totally unfair, if you consider the possibility that he is innocent. Imagine if you were 29 years old and you were just told that you were guilty of crimes that you never committed. How would you react? I know I would have had exactly the same reaction as Holtzclaw.
Let’s hope other television, newspaper, magazine and internet reporters go beyond the headlines in this scary story. So far, in addition to Michelle Malkin, it is the internet analysts who have offered the most revealing insights, in my opinion. Most of the mainstream news reports simply quote the officials who, at this point, would have much to lose if Holtzclaw’s conviction were overturned.
Either Daniel Holtzclaw is the Monster of the Midwest — someone who preyed on vulnerable women, especially black women — or, as his sister says, this is the Duke lacrosse case on steroids. Stay tuned. The one thing we know for sure is that we haven’t heard the end of it.
Obama racism defeated
After a lonely six-year battle, retired Air Force officer Arnold Davis, a resident of Guam, has finally won his right to register to vote in the U.S. territory and participate in a plebiscite on its future.
On March 8, Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood ruled that Guam’s law limiting registration and voting to “Native Inhabitants” of the island is a violation of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments. As the judge said, the Constitution does not allow the government “to exclude otherwise qualified voters in participating in an election where public issues are decided simply because those otherwise qualified voters do not have the correct ancestry or bloodline.”
This decision has been a long time coming. The suit, filed by J. Christian Adams and the Center for Individual Rights in 2011, arose when Davis tried to register to vote on the plebiscite. His application was rejected and marked as “void” by the Guam Election Commission because he is white.
Guam, you see, banned residents from registering or voting unless they were Chamorro “natives,” which to the territorial government means people whose ancestors were original inhabitants of Guam. Chamorros constitute only about 36 percent of the island’s present population.
The race-based voting ban clearly violated the Constitution and the Voting Rights Act, yet the Obama Justice Department refused to protect Davis or any of the other disenfranchised residents of the island. It neither filed suit against Guam nor intervened in support of the lawsuit filed by Adams and the Center for Individual Rights. Instead, it gave Guam $300,000 to help finance the plebiscite.
The case itself has a complicated procedural history that included a trip to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which reversed Tydingco-Gatewood’s original decision dismissing the case. The dismissal was based on erroneous arguments that Davis didn’t have standing to sue and that his claim was not ripe. The Ninth Circuit sent the case back to Tydingco-Gatewood, holding that Davis not only had standing to challenge Guam’s race-based voting law, but that the claim was ripe because Davis was alleging that “he was currently subjected to unlawful unequal treatment in the ongoing registration process.”
In her March 8 decision, Tydingco-Gatewood did what she should have done in the first place: applied the precedent set by the U.S. Supreme Court in Rice v. Cayetano (2000). In Rice, SCOTUS threw out a similar voting restriction enacted by Hawaii, holding that the Fifteenth Amendment “prohibits all provisions denying or abridging the voting franchise of any citizen or class of citizens on the basis of race,” and making clear that ancestry cannot be used as a proxy for race.
Judge Tydingco-Gatewood also noted the Supreme Court’s decision in another infamous case, Hirabayashi v. U.S. (1943). In that case, which concerned the treatment of Japanese Americans during World War II, the Court noted: “Distinctions between citizens solely because of their ancestry are by their very nature odious to a free people whose institutions are founded upon the doctrine of equality.” Judge Tydingco-Gatewood went on to cite specific discussions by territorial legislators that make it very clear that the Guam legislature intended to “manipulate the system to exclude” anyone other than Chamorros from voting — an obvious violation of the Fifteenth Amendment.
The judge also found that Guam had violated the Fourteenth Amendment by denying equal protection to its residents. All “Guam voters have a direct interest and will be substantially affected by any change to the island’s political status.” Guam had asserted that only the “colonized people” of the island should be allowed to vote on its future political status. But, the judge noted, the island failed to cite any legal authority that would allow it to “disregard or circumvent the U.S. Constitution and the laws of the United States.”
The defiant attitude displayed throughout this litigation by Guam officials and plebiscite activists reared its ugly head again after the ruling came out. Joe Garrido, chairman of the “Free Association Task Force” organized by Guam’s Commission on Decolonization, called Tydingco-Gatewood a “colonized federal judge” who is “not working for the Chamorro people. . . . She is working for the government that is colonizing Guam.”
In his “State of the Island” address, delivered just two days before the decision, Guam governor Eddie Calvo said that if the federal court ruled against Guam, he would “petition the other branches of the federal government to secure the right of our people against this continuing subjugation.” He promised that he would not turn his “back on the Chamorro people,” although he is apparently willing to turn his back on the other 64 percent of island residents who don’t fit his definition of a Guam “native.”
After the ruling, Calvo issued a statement vowing to find a “way to work around” it, adding that when the judge “says we can’t — I say we can.” He even proposed changing the plebiscite by having “two separate boxes — one would be marked if you’re a native inhabitant and the other would be marked if you’re a non-native.”
Calvo’s defiance makes it all the more essential for the Justice Department to bring its heft to bear against any efforts to subvert the judge’s ruling. If the governor actually tries to implement a racially segregated ballot as he has suggested he will, the Justice Department must act.
Forcing 'Gender' Conformity
On Friday, the Associated Press further embraced the transgender revolution via an email released to subscribers in which it listed updates for its style manual. These included an official redefinition to its understanding of the term “gender.” The AP has concluded that “gender” is not “synonymous with sex,” stating, “Gender refers to a person’s social identity while sex refers to biological characteristics.” The AP continued, “Not all people fall under one of two categories for sex or gender, according to leading medical organizations, so avoid references to both, either or opposite sexes or genders as a way to encompass all people.” This has continued a long trend of redefining terms.
But it’s not just style manuals. It’s forced conformity in life.
At a high school in Jasper, Indiana, a creative student produced and displayed copies of a flier entitled “Straight Pride.” The flier humorously and pointedly stated, “Celebrate being straight at JHS by not annoying the heck out of everyone about your sexual orientation! It’s easy! Just come to the JHS, then you go about your day without telling everyone about how ‘different’ and ‘special’ you are!” School officials quickly removed the fliers, and superintendent Tracy Lorey told parents that the fliers did not represent the majority of the students: “It is our intent to provide students opportunities to express themselves in a way that helps them to be understanding of the unique qualities of all individuals.” In other words, they only allow expressions of “diverse” thought which they find acceptable.
And of course, there is no room for freedom of speech or religion when it comes to the Left’s sacred cow of sexual deviancy. They seek to get one fired for holding the wrong opinion, whether it’s Mozilla’s Brendan Eich or the celebrated firing of an old coworker who wouldn’t bow to using the “right” pronoun. They pressure companies and sports leagues to boycott an entire state over a common-sense bathroom law as in North Carolina. They shut down a mom and pop bakery for refusing to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding. They demand language usage be changed to accommodate the delusions of “non-binary” sexuality. Conformity, not diversity, is what the Rainbow Mafia and the Left demand.
The homofascists are on a roll in Australia
Having pressured Coopers, IBM and PwC and their senior staff to sever links with Christian associations, gay rights activist Michael Barnett has turned his sights on academia, demanding Macquarie University force one of its lecturers to renounce a Christian educational organisation.
The move led the Christian group to warn the onus was on the university sector, as a national pillar of freedom of thought and expression, to back its academics against political pressure from LGBTI campaigners.
Mr Barnett, who tweets as “mikeybear”, re-posted the list of directors of the Lachlan Macquarie Institute, a training organisation established by the Australian Christian Lobby, and singled out Macquarie University senior research associate Steve Chavura as a member of the LMI board. “A bad look @Macquarie_Uni having a Lachlan Macquarie Institute board member and director on your payroll, as a @PrideDiversity member,” Mr Barnett tweeted.
Mr Barnett yesterday told The Australian he believed Macquarie University was conflicted while it was a member of the Pride in Diversity campaign which supports LGBTI individuals’ rights and safety in the workplace, while Dr Chavura was a director of LMI.
Mr Barnett said he did not know if LMI or Dr Chavura had ever issued any anti-gay material, but said “I don’t think they are going to be running floats down Mardi Gras.” Mr Barnett issued the post as The Australian revealed that ACL and LMI had been granted official permission to keep their board members’ names secret on the grounds of “public safety” after abuse and threats from gay activists forced IBM executive Mark Allaby to quit the LMI board.
Dr Chavura yesterday said he would not resign as a lecturer and director at LMI, and would resist what he described as an attempt by Mr Barnett to “weed out any dissenters from his view” about sexuality, in any public institution.
“I hope the university is strong enough not to capitulate” to this type of pressure, Dr Chavura said.
But Macquarie University yesterday declined to support Dr Chavura. “As a matter of practice, Macquarie University does not comment on individual matters pertaining to employees,” spokeswoman Megan Wright said in a statement to The Australian.
“When commenting publicly, the university asks that employees adhere to the university’s public comment policy.”
Dr Chavura, who lectures in history and political theory at the university and LMI, said while he privately maintained traditional Christian views on sexuality and marriage and would talk about them if asked, he did not canvass them in his teachings which ranged widely from Karl Marx to liberalism to political concepts.
“I think it’s a bad look for the tweeter, seeking to destroy the career of someone who has engaged in no abuse, no inflammatory speech whatsoever,” Dr Chavura said of Mr Barnett.
Mr Barnett, who describes himself as a campaigner for human rights and equality, is convener of Jewish LGBTI group Aleph Melbourne. He denied his post against Dr Chavura was an assault on the academic’s rights to freedom of expression, religion and association. “No one is stopping him going to church, being a member of a faith,” he said. “Being a member of a board is not religion.”
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.