4/7/2016 – Well, the station that previously brought you the lying juror, followed by the lying prosecutor (more details on those two incidents in a future article), decided to double down and present to the public a four-part ‘chronicle’ that lacked even the most rudimentary of journalistic investigation.
On April 5, reporter Erielle Reshef presented a completely one-sided version of the Daniel Holtzclaw allegations, investigation and trial. This four-part series is basically a PR piece for the city of Oklahoma City, investigators and prosecutors – not once does the reporter provide a defense perspective or even challenge blatant lies being perpetrated by the prosecution.
Fortunately, I’ve watched all four-parts and have provided a breakdown of the fairytale KOCO Ch5 and reporter Erielle Reshef presented as hard hitting investigative journalism…
Part I: Inside the investigation of Daniel Holtzclaw (link)
The series begins with the Jannie Ligons traffic stop on June 18, 2014. Without skipping a beat reporter Erielle Reshef reports a fact without putting it in proper perspective…
Erielle Reshef: “Headed home after his shift, officer Daniel Holtzclaw turns off his GPS then makes a traffic stop.”
Reality Check: At trial it was clearly shown, and agreed to by OCPD Sex Crimes Det. Kim Davis, that Daniel Holtzclaw always turned off his patrol car computer and GPS (actually called AVL) after ending his shift. So, while turning his computer/AVL off was a policy violation, it was nothing suspicious or nefarious and was simply Holtzclaw’s routine.
Furthermore, there is some doubt that Ligons’ assertion she was heading home when Holtzclaw pulled her over is true. As confirmed by Ligons and Holtzclaw, she was not pulled over until after crossing through the intersection of NE 50th and N. Lincoln Blvd. (headed west on 50th). If Ligons were truly heading home, she would have turned on her blinker and went north from 50th on Lincoln Blvd. towards I-44. Instead she was heading west through the intersection. It is not known where she may have actually been heading.
Det. Kim Davis: “She didn’t have warrants so she wasn’t trying to get out of going to jail. There was no motive [to make sexual assault allegations against Holtzclaw]…”
Reality Check: As discussed in my Jannie Ligons Closer Look article (link) there are several possible motives for Ligons’ false allegations of a sexual assault.
1.) Let’s get the first possible motive out of the way – Sometimes people are just simply crazy and we never understand their motive as to why they do something (money, attention, compulsive liar, mental disorder, etc). Ligons’ history is not that of the traditional ‘grandmother’ the media and prosecutors would have the public believe – as shown in #3 below.
2.) She was out late at another man’s house (whom her boyfriend of 20-years didn’t know personally) smoking dope and taking pain medication until 2am while her boyfriend allegedly slept at home waiting to go to his job early that same morning. The sexual assault allegation could have been a way to deflect the trouble Ligons was possibly in with her boyfriend when she got home.
3.) Another extremely common motive is money. Ligons had been evicted from her previous residence. At the time of her allegations, Ligons and her boyfriend were living in Ligons’ adult daughter’s tiny apartment – with the adult daughter’s unemployed violent felon boyfriend (Rickey Lavance Christopher) and the daughter’s two young children. To say Ligons and her extended family were in need of cash is an understatement. Ligons’ daughter and her daughter’s boyfriend, Christopher, have been sued multiple times for not paying their bills, have to move frequently, are possibly in violation of section 8 housing rules and Christopher has recently been charged with arson, domestic assault and battery, cocaine possession, eluding police and remanded to jail for contempt of court. I firmly believe there is a very good chance Ligons, her daughter and Christopher (and possibly Ligons’ boyfriend) cooked up this story after Ligons arrived home – all in an attempt to eventually cash in. Ligons has since filed a high profile federal civil rights lawsuit seeking monetary relief.
4.) Building on theory #2, is what I believe is the most likely theory (though I have no direct evidence to prove it). Daniel Holtzclaw is a police officer that often finds himself in the cross hairs of those he pulls over or detains. In his short career as a police officer, Holtzclaw has been the subject of at least 19 use of force complaints filed by individuals he’s encountered on the streets. In each case Holtzclaw was cleared by the police dept. as acting within the law. Regardless, Holtzclaw’s only experience has been patrolling areas of high crime; gang activity, drug dealing, drug use and prostitution. Because of that, and his recent assignment to the OKC Gang Enforcement Unit, Holtzclaw had developed a no-nonsense and physically aggressive approach to dealing with those he believed were up to no good. While Holtzclaw’s encounters are within the law, Holtzclaw doesn’t hesitate to have women he’s profiled as drug users, addicts or dealers to perform the ‘clasp and shake’ maneuver to reveal any drugs or drug paraphernalia hidden in a woman’s bra or concealed under breast tissue. Holtzclaw will also often have an individual role down the waist of their pants in the search for contraband or weapons.
In the early morning hours of Jun. 18, 2014 Ligons was seen swerving, had been smoking dope and taking pain pills, was driving without a license or valid insurance, and appeared disheveled. Holtzclaw most likely profiled her as a possible drug user and probably had her perform the clasp and shake and expose her waist line. When she arrived at home she was mad at the way she perceives she was treated by Holtzclaw and that anger quickly became the foundation for a much more serious and totally unsubstantiated sexual assault allegation – at the urging of her family and extended family.
Det. Kim Davis: “It was her daughter that said ‘we’re reporting this’ I think she just wanted it to go away.”
Reality Check: There is absolutely nothing in any of the reports, taken only hours after Ligons was allegedly assaulted, supporting the assertion Jannie Ligons “just wanted it to go away” or that her daughter was the one that urged her to report the allegations. In fact, the reports are clear – Ligons arrived home and allegedly woke up her daughter and told her what she claims happened. If Det. Davis’ assertions are true, she neglected to document them in any of the thousands of pages of discovery materials.
Det. Kim Davis: “…and they went to the Springlake Division but it was closed.”
Reality Check: Det. Davis not only wants the public to believe that Ligons had no motive and was a reluctant victim – Det. Davis would also try and re-write history and claim Ligons simply went to the Springlake Division station to report the incident.
What isn’t being addressed is the fact each member of Ligons’ family and extended family gives a different version of events as to what happened that night after Ligons claims she was assaulted. More importantly, what is being completely ignored is the fact that Ligons and her family refused to simply dial 911 and have police come to them. This, even though they did call a cousin that is an Oklahoma City Police Officer and he testified he told them specifically to call 911. I firmly believe Ligons did not call 911 because she knew that line is recorded and dispatchers are trained to ask followup and detailed questions – something at that moment she was not prepared for because she and her family had not finalized what their story was going to be. Additionally, coming from Ligons’ residence, why did they not simply drive to the downtown police headquarters to make their report?
Erielle Reshef: “…Ligons is taken to the hospital for examination.”
Reality Check: What is conveniently left out is that, even though Ligons claims she was sexually assaulted only a couple of hours before, the examination at the hospital reveals not a single piece of evidence to support her claims.
Erielle Reshef: “What made you believe Jannie?”
Det. Kim Davis: “She was scared to death…”
Reality Check: Daniel’s defense team, the jury, nor the public would ever know Ligons’ true demeanor the early morning hours of June 18, 2014 because Det. Davis allegedly never bothered to audio or video record Ligons’ statement. Even though Det. Davis does record other accuser’s statements and Det. Davis admits that recording interviews/statements is a routine part of her job.
Det. Rocky Gregory: “We started realizing we had the same officer assaulting. We just didn’t know his name at the time.”
Reality Check: As pointed out in trial by Holtzclaw’s defense attorney, Det. Gregory is either incompetent or had an agenda. Det. Gregory is referring to accuser Terri Morris in his comment. Not only was Holtzclaw found not guilty of Morris’ accusations, but Morris herself admitted to lying to police about virtually every detail of her allegations. Morris gave a wrong date, location, vehicle and manner in which she initially claims she was assaulted. Morris’ revised allegation – after Det. Gregory manipulates her into changing the location of her alleged assault – doesn’t even match the prosecution’s own evidence. You can read about the Morris allegations in detail in my previous article (link).
Det. Rocky Gregory: “Holtzclaw was logged off his computer, that’s how we got to him.”
Reality Check: Once again its being asserted that somehow logging off his computer is anything other than simply routine for Holtzclaw. Furthermore, Det. Davis wants the public to believe that Holtzclaw logging off his computer somehow was key in them identifying him as the officer that stopped Jannie Ligons. In reality, the record is clear… all detectives knew was that all other officers that had recently been on duty were accounted for through their patrol car GPS (AVL) except for Holtzclaw. This left open the possibility Ligons was pulled over by a police officer that had not been on duty that day at all or that the person who pulled her over was actually a security officer or someone impersonating a police officer. How they ‘got him’ (confirmed he pulled Ligons over) was much more simple – Holtzclaw reported for duty later that afternoon, an announcement was made at lineup asking if anyone pulled someone over around 2 a.m. at 50th and Lincoln Ave. and Holtzclaw immediately said it was him. Once again, Det. Davis is not about to let the facts get in the way of her story.
Erielle Reshef: “What did you learn?”
Det. Kim Davis: “From him? He was a loner. When you’re in patrol you kinda run with a certain group that you take calls with together and stuff, and you kinda eat with the same group. Not him.”
Reality Check: This is a blatant attempt to sell to the public that Holtzclaw somehow fit some stereotype of a deranged loner predator straight out of some movie script. In reality, there is not a single investigation report that supports Det. Davis’ assertion. In fact, I’m unaware of a single report that even explores this aspect of Holtzclaw. In reality, Holtzclaw was not assigned a partner and patrolled overnight and all officers cannot all go on break for dinner at the same time. That said, Holtzclaw was very social. He had a serious girlfriend and a regular group of people he spent literally hours a day with at a local gym where he worked out. Holtzclaw worked 12-hour shifts, was into his girlfriend, workedout regularly with a group of friends and attended and volunteered regularly at a local church. To describe Holtzclaw as a ‘loner’ is at the very least deceptive and at the most an intentional lie to bias the public.
Det. Gregory: [to Holtzclaw]”Even you said it was just a quick little search of the car. Where’s the rest of that time?”
Reality Check: Det. Gregory is trying to imply that there is something nefarious with the fact Holtzclaw spent nearly 15-minutes on the Ligons stop. However, to put this in proper perspective, you need to realize that Holtzclaw correctly estimated the stop was about 15-minutes long. Holtzclaw also self-disclosed that most of that time was spent with Ligons and not searching her vehicle. So, twice Holtzclaw had the opportunity to tell a little lie to try and lessen any appearance of guilt and instead told the 100% truth. A 15-minute stop is not suspicious considering he was trying to ascertain why the driver had no license, no insurance card and was possibly inebriated. It was only after thoroughly speaking with Ligons that he decided to let her go. It was also shown in court that it was not uncommon for Holtzclaw to spend 10-20 minutes on a traffic stop.
Erielle Reshef: “Holtzclaw’s story matching Ligons’ account with one major exception.”
Det. Kim Davis: “Nothing sexual went on during that 15-minutes? … Everything you are telling me is dead on to what she says, except the sexual stuff.”
Reality Check: Once again, Erielle Reshef is telling the story without allowing for even a hint of balanced reporting. In reality, Ligons’ and Holtzclaw’s recollection of that night differ in major ways that not only do not match each other, but more importantly do not match the forensic evidence. Only Holtzclaw’s version of events match the forensics 100% without flaw.
Ligons asserted in her version that Holtzclaw pulled up next to her car first, profiled her as a black woman all alone and that’s why he pulled her over. Photos of Ligons’ vehicle clearly show that her windows are tinted so dark that you cannot even see in them during daylight hours. Furthermore, Holtzclaw claims he followed procedure and simply pulled up behind her and initiated a traffic stop. Ligons claims that she was made to place her hands on Holtzclaw’s patrol car. Ligons also claims that Holtzclaw placed his hands on the top of his own patrol car to block the view of passing motorists. When Holtzclaw’s patrol car was forensically tested, only hours later, there were no signs of Ligons’ fingerprints or DNA on the patrol car and no signs of Holtzclaw’s fingerprints or DNA where Ligons claimed Holtzclaw touch his car. Furthermore, Ligons claims that when she left the scene she pulled into a parking space, turned around and drove away. As the surveillance video from that night shows, Ligons simply made a u-turn while still on NE 50th.
Lastly, there was not a single piece of evidence that supported Ligons’ claim that she was sexually assaulted by Holtzclaw during her traffic stop.
Erielle Reshef: “What was the demeanor you observed?”
Det. Rocky Gregory: “Robotic, no emotion.”
Det. Kim Davis: “None.”
Reality Check: Again, the only purpose of this line of questions by the reporter is to pander to some public preconception that Holtzclaw was this loner officer, void of any human emotion – in short, a monster.
In reality, people see in the interrogation video whatever they want to see. This was the first piece of evidence I saw when I agreed to take a look at this case. In my mind it was one of the most significant single pieces of evidence that showed Holtzclaw was innocent. That sentiment has been repeated by many others who have watched the video recorded interrogation. In fact, it was viewing this video that convinced Holtzclaw’s family and girlfriend that he was telling the truth – why? Because they know Holtzclaw and know how to read his body language and interactions with others – especially in stressful situations.
Det. Davis and Gregory are not psychologist, they’ve received no extensive training on how to interpret Holtzclaw’s demeanor during questioning and channel 5’s reporter knows this but apparently doesn’t care because it fits the narrative of her story.
Det. Rocky Gregory: “We knew we had the right guy … We had to do this. It was the right thing.”
Reality Check: Actually, all Det. Gregory knows at this point is that Holtzclaw conducted an off-duty traffic stop at 2 a.m. on a woman who admits she was smoking dope and taking pain medication also meant as a sleep aid. Det. Gregory also knows the forensic evidence doesn’t back up her story and that nothing Holtzclaw has said can be disproven by any direct evidence.
Prosecutor Gayland Geiger: “Detectives knew he wasn’t telling us the truth. Now that doesn’t automatically mean he did what he’s accused of doing, but, it certainly raises anybody’s common sense.”
Reality Check: What ‘truth’ was Holtzclaw not telling? He immediately came forward when he learned higher-ups were trying to figure out who pulled Ligons over, he accurately estimated the length of time of the traffic stop, he accurately conveyed the sequence of events of the stop and the surveillance video and forensic examination of the stop supported his version of events 100% – even though the same cannot be said of Ligons’ version.
The only thing prosecutors will cling to as ‘untruthful’ is that when asked if he had sexual intercourse with his girlfriend when he got home – Holtzclaw’s version is he tried (possibly even started to but was rebuffed by his girlfriend) and his girlfriend (who is the daughter of a preacher) – when called unannounced, while she’s at a gym working out, by a female stranger (Det. Davis) and asked out of the blue “Did you and Daniel have sex early this morning?” – she quite reasonably responded, “no.” No clarification as to having sex versus trying to have sex, versus fooling around, versus would you even remember.
I’m guessing 99% of people in that same situation as the girlfriend would reply in the negative also.
Regardless, notice the bias – if someone doesn’t 100% agree with what Holtzclaw says then it’s Holtzclaw that is lying and not the other individual. Was there any evidence Holtzclaw’s girlfriend didn’t lie to Det. Davis simply because the question was none of her damn business?
Det. Kim Davis: “As we are locating more victims we are wrapping up these other cases.”
Reality Check: Det. Davis appears to be insinuating that there were open unsolved cases involving sexual assault allegations perpetuated by some unknown police officer. That is simply not true. There were no ‘other cases’ to ‘wrap up.’ There were the original two assault claims; Ligons and Morris. Every other claim came at the insistence of Detectives Davis and Gregory.
Erielle Reshef: “The number of potential victims is growing and a pattern is emerging.
Prosecutor Gayland Geiger: “I think he was profiling women who had criminal histories, who were in high crime areas, and who at least arguably were engaged in criminal activity.”
Reality Check: What was never disclosed to the public is that the only ‘profile’ was a complete concoction of Detectives Davis and Gregory. Despite all the headlines proclaiming Holtzclaw targeted black females with a history of drugs or prostitution, there is absolutely no evidence to support that and detectives put that label on Holtzclaw within 72 hours of Ligons’ complaint.
In reality, police simply pulled the names of every female Holtzclaw ran through his computer over a set period of time. When they realized that list was extensive, Detectives Davis and Gregory simply decide to eliminate all non-black females. When that list also proved to be rather long, they arbitrarily cut out any black females that didn’t have a history of drug abuse and/or prostitution. It’s not a ‘profile’ if those are the only people detectives choose to interview. Keep in mind, only three women total came forward (Ligons, Morris, Hill – and Holtzclaw was found not guilty of Hill’s claims). The rest police went out and found – and only went looking for women who fit the profile they create out of thin air.
Erielle Reshef: “You have prostitution and drugs and fear of the police.”
Det. Kim Davis: “That’s the perfect victim. Because nobody is going to believe them , and if somebody believes them, who cares. He picked those victims for a reason. They didn’t report.
Reality Check: The women who made allegations against Holtzclaw were not the ‘perfect victims’, they were the perfect accusers. They were women who have lived a large portion of their lives as criminals and addicts. As such they live to-day-to by telling lies, running hustles, victimizing others and refusing to live by the same rules and moral compass the rest of society exists under. Credibility is earned and these women were without an ounce of credibility despite anyone’s emotional reaction to this case. Furthermore, while several of the accusers were proven to be lying during the trial, at no time has there ever been a single piece of evidence introduced that showed that Daniel Holtzclaw lied at any time.
Detectives Davis and Gregory are actually the ones who ‘picked those victims.’ They knew from the beginning that if they spoke to enough women with that profile they could find several who could be manipulated into supporting their preconceived notion that Holtzclaw was a serial predator.
Erielle Reshef: “Davis and Gregory compare the women’s accounts to the GPS in Daniel Holtzclaw’s patrol car.”
Detective Kim Davis: “Until we interviewed a victim we never went back and checked his GPS and every time we went back it was dead on.”
Reality Check: First, there was never any evidence introduced at trial or in the discovery record that supports Det. Davis’ assertion that they never looked at Holtzclaw’s GPS (AVL) until after speaking with an accuser. Second, what would it matter if they did? The GPS record is-what-it-is and it doesn’t matter at what point they review it – unless they bring up Holtzclaw’s GPS activity with the accuser during her interview.
Det. Davis’ claim that “every time we went back it was dead on” is an absolute lie and she knows it. But she also knows the public doesn’t have those records to compare her words to and reporter Erielle Reshef is too lazy to seek the truth out. As I’ve already pointed out in Morris’ account she is extremely vague on the route Holtzclaw took her. However, she’s very specific when she say’s Holtzclaw dropped her off at NE 26 and Kelly – yet, Holtzclaw’s patrol car GPS (AVL) clearly shows he never stopped or even drove slower than 24MPH while anywhere near NE 26 and Kelly. Additionally, accuser Ellis claimed Holtzclaw took her to an abandoned school, where he parked, removed her from his car, and raped her for at least ten minutes. However, Holtzclaw’s GPS clearly shows he was only in that area for less than 5 minutes and his vehicle never stopped. Another example is Regina Copeland. Copeland swore that Holtzclaw followed her down her street, stopped in front of her driveway, made her get into his patrol car, drove around the corner and then parked and raped her. Holtzclaw’s GPS clearly shows he never drove down Copeland’s street, never drove around the corner and therefore never stopped and raped her.
While Holtzclaw’s GPS did show when and where he came into contact with each of the accusers, that fact only proves they were at the same place at the same time – something Holtzclaw has never denied. Holtzclaw’s accusers simply took a very real situation – Holtzclaw stopping or otherwise detaining them and then they inserted a sexual assault allegation.
As Holtzclaw’s defense attorney pointed out in the courtroom – the hardest lie to prove is one that is inserted into a very real situation.
Part II: Buildup to Daniel Holtzclaw’s Arrest, Case Goes Public (link)
Erielle Reshef: “…They begin to notice Daniel Holtzclaw’s alleged attacks appear to escalate in frequency and severity. There was a night he struck more than once.”
Det. Kim Davis: “The attacks couldn’t have got more close together then they were that last night.”
Det. Rocky Gregory: “He was ramping up.”
Reality Check: What is being referenced here is the night of June 18, 2014. If the prosecutors and accusers are to be believed, Holtzclaw committed three sexual assaults during a single shift; Adaira Gardner, Kala Lyes and Jannie Ligons.
I have already detailed the Jannie Ligons allegations. Soon I will be posting articles regarding Gardner and Lyles.
Its safe to say I am fully confident that the only thing that ‘ramped up’ was the willingness of accusers to be manipulated by both Det. Davis and Gregory.
In short, I’ve already shown where Ligons lied about several details of the traffic stop and how her and her family’s behavior in reporting the allegations is at the very least suspicious. Not to mention the money motive to lie.
Gardner is the 17-year old accuser who initially told her mother, the night of her alleged assault, that she had met a ‘really hot cop.’ This is also a case where Holtzclaw’s GPS puts doubt on Gardner’s allegations. She claims she first made contact with Holtzclaw a few blocks from her home. After some initial chit-chat Holtzclaw drove Gardner to her house in an effort to make contact with her mother. After walking Gardner to the door, knocking and not getting a reply, Gardner asserts that Holtzclaw bent her over and vaginally raped her. Holtzclaw’s GPS says this all would have had to have happened within nine minutes. Additionally, Holtzclaw’s computer shows he ran her for warrants just two minutes before he left her residence. Considering investigators allege Holtzclaw ran all his victims for warrants prior to their assaults, this means Holtzclaw exited his vehicle, walked with Gardner to her door, knocked, waited for a reply, bent Gardner over and raped her and then went back to his car and drove away – and all that within 120 seconds or less (allowing time for him to actually read the warrant check he had run).
Lastly, Gardner blatantly lied to the court during her victim’s impact statement when she said she had been unable to leave her house since Holtzclaw allegedly assaulted her. Court records show she was involved in attacking a man with a machete and committing several crimes in Muskogee since June 18, 2014. Not to mention, when police initially tried to interview her, she was out of state in Detroit.
As for Lyle’s, Holtzclaw was found not guilty of her claims (four charges) – so there is no need to go into her lies at this point.
Erielle Reshef: “By Aug. 21, 2014 police have eight women who say Holtzclaw sexually assaulted them and enough evidence to arrest him. That day police chief Bill Citty calls an urgent press conference at police headquarters.
Police Chief Bill Citty: “Actually coerced them into providing sexual favors.”
Erielle Reshef: “What was the feeling as a police chief to tell the community that there was a cop who was sexually assaulting women?”
Police Chief Bill Citty: “It’s a sickening feeling. The one thing we have always tried to do is that to be completely open. As open as we can be.”
Reality Check: Personally, I find it reprehensible that a Oklahoma City Police Chief would assign guilt to one of his own officers before that officer has even had the benefit of a trial. Certainly he has a responsibility to place the officer on leave and by no means should there be an expectation that he publicly support any officer accused of any crime. That said, the chief threw Holtzclaw under the bus, publicly proclaimed him guilty and all with the full knowledge there was not a single witness nor direct evidence tying Holtzclaw to any criminal act.
Chief Citty made a calculated move when he sacrificed Holtzclaw to the court of public opinion. In a totally unprofessional and self-serving way Chief Citty’s plan worked. By throwing Holtzclaw under the bus he avoided protests in front of his headquarters, he avoided riots in the streets, he avoided confrontations between patrolling officers and minority activists, and, most importantly for Chief Citty – he avoided a public demanding his resignation.
Det. Kim Davis: “He just assaulted her there on the porch. After he left he called her mom and said, ‘is Adaira there?'”
Reality Check: In reality, Holtzclaw had only spent nine minutes with Adaira. The only reason Holtzclaw even transported her to her home is because he was told her mother might be there. Holtzclaw witnessed Adaira hanging around with another girl and a suspected pimp. Holtzclaw was suspicious that Adaira gave him a fake identity and he wanted to let her mother know what he suspected she was up to (street prostitution).
Adaria’s mother was not home at that time, so Holtzclaw drove back by a few hours later. Noticing a car in the driveway and lights on inside the house, he ran the address on his computer, got the phone number associated with the address and placed a call. When Adaira’s mother, Amanda Gates, answered the phone, Holtzclaw simply asked “Does Adaira Gardner live there?” Gates asked who was calling and Holtzclaw identified himself. The intent of Holtzclaw’s call was to make certain Adaira was who she said she was and that she was supposed to be at that residence. However, since Adaira had just told her mother she met “a really hot cop”, Gates thought Holtzclaw was calling to talk to her 17-year-old daughter. Gates admittedly didn’t wait for Holtzclaw to say anything else and simply cussed him out and hung up the phone. Holtzclaw never made any other attempt to contact Adaira or her mother.
Part III: The Daniel Holtzclaw Trial (link)
The segment opens with the topic of the mostly male all white jury. Reporter Erielle Reshef fails to even attempt to address how the all white jury came about and how – despite very vocal criticisms – it was selected the exact same way every jury in Oklahoma County is selected. I will be posting an article specifically addressing jury selection in the future.
Erielle Reshef: “Prosecutors persuade all 13 accusers to take the stand.”
Reality Check: By the time the trial rolled around, virtually all of the accusers had already spoken to civil attorneys and the majority had already filed lawsuits seeking a big cash payout. The accusers had to take the stand if they had any hope of getting paid. Additionally, the media and activist circus around the trial made each of these accusers into mini celebrities.
Erielle Reshef: “Then women’s criminal histories are a key focus for the defense. Holtzclaw’s attorneys work to discredit their accounts.”
Juror Ronald Hill: “It didn’t matter their history, the defense tried to beat them up and whatnot. The state’s job to prove guilt and the defense went from there and that was their choice.”
Reality Check: The reporter is building off the criticism that Holtzclaw’s defense strategy was to attack the alleged victims and put their history on trial.
Like it or not, when you have a case that has no witnesses and no direct evidence, the credibility of the accuser(s) versus the credibility of the defendant must take center stage. In this case, the credibility of the accusers was abysmal – virtually all of them are on drugs, some even showed up testing high during the trial, most have long criminal histories and none of them would have even met the qualifications to sit on a jury in Oklahoma County. The defense not only had a right to point out the accuser’s criminal pasts, they had an obligation to Holtzclaw to do so. It was pointing out those pasts that most assuredly led to some of the charges resulting in not guilty verdicts.
Erielle Reshef: “Prosecutors show the jury these automations [animations] of Daniel Holtzclaw’s GPS. Detectives show them how the victims stories match the pings point for point.
Reality Check: Again, the reporter shows her total lack of understanding about this case and more importantly the evidentiary significance (or lack thereof) of Holtzclaw’s patrol car GPS (AVL).
Holtzclaw never denied and fully admits he came into contact with each and every accuser. So, naturally his GPS is going to show those contacts – not unlike if you or I were pulled over later today. The fact a patrol car GPS shows you or I were pulled over by a specific officer at a specific location does not prove that any crime whatsoever occurred. It simply reaffirms there was contact.
The only significance of the GPS would be if Holtzclaw denied coming into contact with any of the women or if something extraordinary was revealed through the GPS.
In fact, in many instances the GPS proved that the women were lying because their version of events did not match the GPS (as pointed out in more detail previously in this article).
Juror Ronald Hill: “The DNA evidence was very crucial.”
Prosecutor Gayland Gieger: “The DNA evidence were skin cells.”
Erielle Reshef: “The defense maintaining those skin cells could have traveled and finding DNA in Holtzclaw’s pants did not amount to rape. They’re skin cells they could have been from anywhere.
Prosecutor Gayland Geiger: “They tried to explain DNA from a 17-year-old girl that ends up inside his pants at the area where his privates are.”
Reality Check: The prosecutors are not DNA experts and neither was Holtzclaw’s defense team. Both sides had to rely on the expertise of those who understand today’s DNA technology and how sensitive it truly is. The expert who clarified the DNA in this case was the prosecution’s own police DNA lab.
What the reporter failed to even mention was that the prosecution’s own DNA expert testified that even though they knew the pants were from a suspected serial rapist that allegedly committed both oral and vaginal rapes, they never tested for semen, saliva or vaginal secretions. They never even fluoresced the pants for the indicators of fluid. Additionally, the prosecutors DNA expert testified that they never checked any other area of Holtzclaw’s pants for DNA.
Most importantly, the prosecution’s own DNA expert testified that the DNA found was merely skin cells, they have no idea from what part of the body they came from and they have no idea how they got onto Daniel’s pants (and they never did further tests to try and see if the DNA was transferred via bodily fluids).
When asked by the Defense, the prosecution’s own DNA expert agreed under oath that it was possible that the DNA on Holtzclaw’s pants was the result of secondary transfer or touch DNA. Meaning, that Gardner’s DNA got onto Holtzclaw’s hands while he patted her down and then searched through her purse. At some point later, when Holtzclaw either went to the restroom, adjusted himself or simply changed clothes – Gardner’s DNA was transferred from his hands to his pants. Gardner’s DNA may have very well been in Holtzclaw’s pockets, on his belt, on his shirt or anywhere else his hands touched. The prosecution knew this and never looked for it anywhere but the fly of his pants.
While prosecutor Geiger would try and belittle the idea of secondary transfer or touch DNA, I would ask that you read this very recent and well respected study out of forensic magazine (link).
In case you are wondering, the defense had its own DNA expert in the courtroom ready to testify. However, the defense felt his testimony wasn’t necessary because there was nothing to rebut because the state’s own DNA expert agreed with every assertion the defense made.
*At about five and a half minutes into this segment, reporter Erielle Reshef focuses in on the formal sentencing. Conveniently enough, she leaves out the part where there is a several hours delay in the sentencing – partly because Juror #5 Ronald Hill has to appear before the judge in chambers and admit that he previously lied during his initial interview with KOCO Ch5 right after the verdict. That lie could have resulted in a mistrial.
Oklahoma District Attorney David Prater: “Men who victimize women, this is what is going to happen to you. We will rock you up.”
Reality Check: This is simply grandstanding by DA Prater. In reality, Prater has a long history of ignoring abusers of women and even empowering them with his hug-a-thug mentality. Not to mention DA Prater’s office incarcerates more woman than most any other county in the country. We covered the hypocrisy in DA Prater’s statement in a previous article (link).
Part IV: The Daniel Holtzclaw Trial (link)
This segment simply wraps ups the previous three segments and focuses on the fact that Holtzclaw had a flawless record in his personal and professional life.
The segment then turns to the national climate of Black Lives Matter and negative sentiments towards police officers.
Police Chief Bill Citty: “When I came down here 38 years ago I rode primarily east side of Oklahoma City, primarily the black area of Oklahoma City. The distrust [of police] was there then.”
Reality Check: The media continues to ignore the fact that then patrol officer Chief Citty was a big part of the distrust Oklahoma City black residence had towards police. Then patrolman Citty was involved in a well documented arrest where he himself violated and victimized a black woman and her brother in NE OKC – going so far as to refer to them as “niggers.” You can read about that incident in a previous article I published (link). In the end, the city of Oklahoma City had to pay a large cash settlement to the woman for her allegations against Citty.
Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater: “I want the rest of the nation to continue to watch Oklahoma City. Because we are going to be an example as to how we treat our citizens no matter what your station in life.”
Reality Check: This probably sums up best why Holtzclaw was thrown under the bus. Our DA is willing to set a new standard – you don’t need evidence, you don’t need witnesses, you don’t even need credible accusers. You only need to pile on charges and ‘victims’ and emotion to get a guilty verdict.
Holtzclaw being thrown under the bus from the start was a calculated move by investigators, Chief Citty, prosecutor Gieger and DA Prater. They wanted to avoid riots in the streets, calls for terminations and they wanted a great big feather to put in their caps – and all at the cost of a young man’s life and freedom.
KOCO Ch5: At the very end of part four of this series was the written statement, “We asked the Holtzclaw family to be interviewed for Chronicles… The family spokesperson said an interview could not be granted due to a contract with a TV Network.”
Reality Check: Currently I am the Holtzclaw family spokesperson. The Holtzclaw family is free to talk to whomever they want about this case. The contractual obligation has to do with access to Daniel Holtzclaw. KOCO asked for permission to talk to Daniel and I explained that would not be possible. For one, Daniel is in protective custody in a location I am not willing to reveal. Daniel also has limited access to the media and has already obligated himself to a national news production that will air a special on this case in the near future.
As the official defense investigator, I made myself available to KOCO to provide my perspective on what the prosecution was asserting. As evident in this series, they were unwilling to allow both sides of the story to be told.
I personally suspect this ‘chronicle’ had very little to do with actually shedding any new light on the Daniel Holtzclaw case – instead I imagine this was produced for the sole purpose of gaining favor with police and the DA’s office and more importantly for entering it into journalism contests and regional EMMY consideration (FYI, unlike Reshef I have an EMMY – it’s not that big of a deal – and certainly not worth sacrificing your journalistic integrity).
— Brian Bates