Reaction: Hunting Holtzclaw series by the Oklahoman - Chapter Three | In the Box

©Oklahoman - Art by Todd Pendleton. Design by Richard Hall & Tim Watson. (Fair Use claim)

6/17/2016 - This is the third of a four-part reaction series to 'Hunting Holtzclaw' as written by reporter Adam Kemp and published by The Oklahoman. You can read my reaction to part one at this link - My reaction to part two at this link. You can read the entire series, as it was originally published, by The Oklahoman at this link.

Chapter three deals specifically with then Oklahoma City police officer Daniel Holtzclaw's video recorded interrogation with OCPD Sex Crimes Detectives Kim Davis and Rocky Gregory.

Reaction: Chapter Three | In the Box

The initial most obvious omission in Chapter Three is the fact that The Oklahoman chose to post an edited copy of Holtzclaw's interrogation video. In fact, while the version prosecutor's have so far released to the media was already redacted, the version embedded within The Oklahoman's article is even further edited down. Here at HoltzclawTrial.com we are the only entity reporting on this case that has published an unredacted copy of the interrogation video (minus a telephone number that was muted out). Our copy is 2:13 long - while The Oklahoman's copy is only 1:10 long. You can view the unredacted copy on this website at this link.

In fact, reporter Kemp even quotes parts of the video that are not even in the version they posted to accompany their article.

Reporter Kemp makes reference to how Det. Davis tries to put her suspect at ease and uses the example of how she tells Holtzclaw she is going to help him put the rumors to rest and make them go away.

This is how that conversation went...

Det. Davis: "Why are you embarrassed? Why? Tell me why you're embarrassed."
Holtzclaw: "The station deal, so." (being approached by sex crimes detectives and higher-ups at the Springlake Briefing Station just before this interview)
Det. Davis: "Nobody, well, I mean, there's rumors flying. I know."
Holtzclaw: "Everyone."
Det. Davis: "And we tried to do that as, kind of, quietly as we could and that's why we took you out the front and stuff. But this is going to make the rumors go away."
Holtzclaw: "Okay."
Det. Davis: "Okay. For you."
Holtzclaw: "Right."
Det. Davis: "The rumor tomorrow is going to be on somebody else."
Holtzclaw: "Right."
Det. Davis: "Does that make sense?"
Holtzclaw: "Okay."
Det. Davis: "So, lets get them off of you."
Holtzclaw: "Uh huh."
Det. Davis: "And get them on to somebody else. And get this over with."

The above conversation is important because it is one of the reasons Holtzclaw remains so calm during the interview - he has just been assured that he simply needs to answer Det. Davis and Gregory's questions so the "rumors will go away."

Obviously this was a ploy by the detectives, but it was also the best course of action for an innocent man who has nothing to hide and simply wants to get this over with.

Reporter Kemp also intentionally left out a conversation where Detectives Davis and Gregory explain which hand they like to masturbate with...

Det. Gregory: "I masturbate right and left [handed]. So, does that work?"
Det. Davis: "Um, I think I do that left handed."
Det. Gregory: "Very good."

Detectives Davis and Gregory will most likely say that enlightening conversation was just to buddy up with Holtzclaw and make him feel relaxed. However, as the unedited video shows, it appeared to have the opposite effect on Holtzclaw as he doesn't join in on the sex talk and appears uncomfortable with the topic coming up under these circumstances.

A still image from the highly redacted interrogation video posted by The Oklahoman.

Next, reporter Kemp details how Holtzclaw agrees to talk to the detectives without a lawyer present and how Det. Davis isn't surprised, because, "most people assume that if they ask for an attorney, investigators automatically will think they’re guilty or have something to hide. She also knows it’s a big mistake suspects make."

Three things.... First, I really hope in the future, citizens start telling investigators, "On the advice of Oklahoma City Police Detective Kim Davis, I invoke my right to remain silent and wish to have a lawyer present during any questioning." Second, reporter Kemp never bothers to clarify the distinction between "most people" and Holtzclaw. 

Holtzclaw is not some random citizen suspect that police have located in public and then brought downtown to police headquarters for questioning. Holtzclaw is a police officer himself and he's being questioned by co-workers who are superior officers. Holtzclaw also has endured no less than 19 use of force investigations against him - all found in his favor. So, Holtzclaw has no reason to fear speaking to investigators about the truth. In fact, not speaking to them could have very serious consequences with his job.

Lastly, and probably most importantly, Holtzclaw has no idea of the severity of the allegations against him until very late into the interrogation. All Holtzclaw knows is that the woman he stopped, about 14-hours previously, has made a complaint involving something of a sexual nature. Holtzclaw, like Det. Davis, knows false sexual assault allegations against officers are common. Holtzclaw assumes the complaint has to do with how he searched the woman, how the woman feels she was treated or some other action Holtzclaw took that offended her but was within police policy and the law.

None of those three things above did reporter Kemp feel obligated to clarify to his readers.

Once again, reporter Kemp makes reference to Terri Morris' allegations and how Det. Davis questions Holtzclaw about them. And, once again, reporter Kemp fails to mention Morris eventually admits the details of her initial allegation against Holtzclaw were a lie and that Holtzclaw was found not guilty of her assertions.

*Reporter Kemp, in his article, claims Morris told officers her attacker offered her a ride to the 'City Union Mission.' No idea where Kemp is getting that. The official interrogation transcript clearly reads 'City Rescue Mission.'

A very telling aspect of the depths of Det. Gregory's incompetence are revealed when he tells reporter Kemp that he comments to Det. Davis that he thinks Holtzclaw is a 'sociopath' and that he could probably pass a polygraph.

For one, Det. Gregory has zero training or qualifications to label or diagnose someone as a sociopath and its completely unprofessional and beyond his abilities to do so. Det. Gregory also doesn't know Holtzclaw and has no idea how Holtzclaw reacts under duress or in any other situation. What he does know is that there is literally nothing in Holtzclaw's past that would suggest he has any personality disorder, antisocial behaviors or is void of conscience. To the contrary, Holtzclaw has spent his entire life being a part of a team or group, mentoring, being a standout and engaging in perfectly normal physical relationships with person's of the opposite sex.

Additionally, neither Det. Gregory or reporter Kemp bother to mention that Holtzclaw underwent extensive vetting when he was hired by the Oklahoma City Police Department and that process involved a polygraph test and an MMPI personality test - specifically designed to look for personality disorders within an applicant.

Throughout Holtzclaw's entire interrogation, by two seemingly well seasoned sex crimes detectives, the only thing they can cling to is a single question and Holtzclaw's answer to it....

Det. Davis: "[when you got home after your shift] did you get laid?"
Holtzclaw: "Uh, messed around, yeah."

Holtzclaw tells the detectives that when he got home his girlfriend was asleep (it's close to 3 a.m.) and that he tried to have sex with her. Specifically, Holtzclaw says he went to insert his penis into her vagina and she pushed him off and said she didn't want to have sex because she was tired.

When Det. Davis called Holtzclaw's girlfriend and asked her if Holtzclaw tried to have sex with her she replied, 'no.'

Of course, Det. Davis didn't bother to record this conversation, but does decide that answer alone proves Holtzclaw is a liar and returns to the interrogation room to confront Holtzclaw with this diabolical lie.

Once again, reporter Kemp doesn't feel the necessity to properly set the scene. 

Det. Davis, whom has never met Holtzclaw's girlfriend (who happens to be the daughter of a pastor), calls her on her cell phone while the girlfriend is at a public gym working out. Det. Davis tells her something to the effect, "Daniel is okay, I'm Detective Kim Davis with OCPD Sex Crimes and I need to ask you a question. Did Daniel try to have sex with you earlier this morning after he got home from work?"

Seriously? What woman in that situation is going to be worried about answering that question honestly? You don't know who this person is, how they got your phone number and they are asking you a very personal question while you are standing in a very public place. Furthermore, why is it immediately assumed it is Holtzclaw who is lying and not his girlfriend?

At trial it was revealed that Holtzclaw and his girlfriend have sex at least once a day and that he does occasionally come home from work and have, or at least attempt to have, sex with her. Holtzclaw's girlfriend also admitted that she takes a sleep-aid because she often has trouble going to sleep and that she might not even remember if Holtzclaw had made physical advances towards her.

But, once again, none of those details are important in an accurate retelling of the 'Hunting of Holtzclaw' by Oklahoman reporter Adam Kemp.

Probably the most glaring omission from this entire chapter is the single event that most obviously proves how totally incompetent both Detectives Davis and Gregory truly are. Even though Holtzclaw is being 100% compliant, professional and composed, they never ask for the one piece of potential evidence any investigator would tell you is most critical in a rape investigation - the perpetrator's underwear. 

Holtzclaw turning over his uniform but never being asked to hand over his underwear.

Det. Davis and Gregory will claim that they asked Holtzclaw and he told them he had changed underwear since the previous shift, so there was no need to take them for testing. This is a laughable attempt to coverup their amateur investigation. For one, both detectives have expressed that they felt Holtzclaw was being dishonest during his interrogation - so why would you trust his answer to this very important question? Two, they have the ability (and I'd argue the obligation) to go to Holtzclaw's apartment and seize any and all underwear they find - not to mention his two changes of uniform clothes that were still hanging in his closet. Lastly, regardless as to when Holtzclaw changed his underwear, there would still be a very real possibility trace evidence could still be on his body and would be trapped in his underwear, even if he had put on a new pair since the alleged assault.

In case you doubt the ability and tenacity of Detectives Davis and Gregory to go looking for dirty underwear, I feel obligated to point out that they literally sent a gang unit to kick in the door of accuser Grate's home to forcibly retrieve any and all underwear and soiled rags they could find in her bedroom. 

Lastly, even though this chapter dealt with only the interrogation of Holtzclaw, reporter Kemp made certain he made no mention of the fact Holtzclaw's version of events differed from that of accuser Ligons in ways that favored Holtzclaw as telling the truth and Ligons as lying. An example would be when Ligons claims she was made to put her hands on Holtzclaw's patrol car. Holtzclaw says that never happened. A forensic examination of Holtzclaw's patrol car found no evidence to support Ligons' assertion. The same can be said of her claim that Holtzclaw placed his hands on the top of his patrol car. Then there's Ligons' misstatement as to how she left the scene after the traffic stop.

So, what is the takeaway from 'Chapter Three | In the Box'?

  • The Oklahoman felt the need to post a highly redacted version of Holtzclaw's interrogation video.
  • Reporter Adam Kemp avoided reporting on any detail that exposed Detectives Davis and Gregory as the incompetent investigators they truly are.
  • Holtzclaw conducted himself in a completely professional manner and answered all of the detectives questions without being evasive.
  • Only Holtzclaw's version of events during the Ligons traffic stop can be supported by the forensic evidence.
  • In their desperation to make Holtzclaw out as a liar, detectives Davis and Gregory cling to a single unrelated and highly personal question posed to Holtzclaw's girlfriend regarding their sex lives.
  • Detectives Davis and Gregory see no need to collect the underwear of a suspected serial rapist for testing.