Ep 1: The Jannie Ligons Stop
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Episode 1 Transcript (with links and discovery)
Advisory: This podcast deals with adult subject matter, including depictions of drug addiction, prostitution, sexual assault and rape. Parental guidance is suggested.
Date/Time: The following episode contains investigative events which occurred on June 18, 2014.
Brian Bates: (00:45) Oklahoma City, it has been my home for virtually all of my 49 years. It's also the capital for the state of Oklahoma. The story I'm going to share took place in 2014 and almost literally within the shadow of the State Capitol building. This is the northeast side of Oklahoma City, or simply the east side, as many of the residents refer to it. This area of town used to be home to a popular amusement park and public swimming hall called Springlake. And when I say public, I unfortunately mean the whites only public of the time. Attempts at integration took place in the 1960s and the 1970s. Unfortunately, in 1971, one of those attempts led to Springlake Amusement Park being the site of Oklahoma City's worst race riot. While the park closed in the early 80s, the Springlake name lives on.
Today Springlake is most widely known as one of the four police patrol districts within Oklahoma City. There are many ways to describe the part of the east side where our story takes place. It's an area where a large portion of Oklahoma City's black population lives. There are lots of small locally owned businesses, there is very much a sense of community within the aging population, and there's a church on most every corner. That said, it's also a low income area with extremely high rates of drug use and disproportionately high crime. The criminal activities on the east side range from lower level crimes like petty theft, vandalism, and prostitution, to much more serious crimes like armed robberies, home invasions, human trafficking, rape, and murder.
Despite the high crime rate, the area actually has a statistically low 911 call rate. I attribute this mostly to two factors. The first being a prevailing no snitching code amongst the areas residents. In my experience, this really isn't so much of a moral code as it is an underlying threat, more along the lines of snitches get stitches. The second is a general distrust for police and the Oklahoma County's DA's office.
(02:51) The Police Department at the time, 2014, was led by Oklahoma City Police Chief Bill Citty. Citty actually announced his retirement earlier this year, 2019, after serving as the city's top cop for 15 years.
Citty's career has included some well publicized disagreements with the police officers' union, and a recent court ruling that specifically stated that then Chief Citty had unfairly retaliated against a police lieutenant who had notified federal prosecutors of suspected criminal activity by a well liked, high ranking police officer, who also happened to be friends of Chief Citty. The court ruled that Citty was liable in a $648,000 settlement in the case. Citty retired less than a year later.
(03:37) Citty's concerning behavior though has direct ties to the east side and can be traced all the way back to a 1979 case where then Patrol Officer Citty and his partner were accused by a black female resident of the northeast side of illegally entering and searching her home, illegally seizing her vehicle, and illegally arresting her. According to court documents, Patrol Officer Citty referred to the mother's brother using the N word. Now I'm going to provide a link to this court case, and you can read the actual quotes and the documents there. I'm not going to repeat exactly what then Patrol Officer Citty said, but it's pretty bad.
When the woman asked if she could call someone to get her children, because she's being arrested, Citty reportedly replied that he would call the animal shelter to come and get them. A judge who ruled on the case is quoted as saying this about Patrol Officer Bill Citty and his partner, quote, "The officers were either incompetently ignorant of their legal authority, or who knew that what they were doing was illegal and acted with outrageous maliciousness." A judge went on to say, and I quote, "Crushed were the fundamental rights of a single protesting citizen beneath the grinding boot heel of uniformed government agents with all the cold callousness of an imperial executioner." And exactly how was then Oklahoma City Patrol Officer Bill Citty punished? Well, he was promoted to chief.
(05:05) Our Oklahoma County district attorney's office is led by DA David Prater. Prater was elected into office in 2006, he's run unopposed ever since, and he's earned the distinguished honor of leading the state's largest prosecutorial body in a state that has since his election been named the incarceration leader of the world. Oklahoma incarcerates more mothers, fathers, sons, and daughters than any other place on the planet.
In Oklahoma, 1300 out of every 100,000 adults is incarcerated. That's 50% higher than the national average. When you look at our black population, they are incarcerated at a rate six times that for white Oklahomans, yet blacks make up only 12% of Oklahoma's total population. So needless to say, residents on the east side have watched many of their friends, loved ones, and neighbors locked up or otherwise disproportionately punished by a mostly white police force and a DA with a lock-them-up attitude.
(06:08) The racial tensions in Oklahoma in 2014 were pretty much a reflection of tensions across the country. You'll recall the Ferguson race riots, which began in August of that year. This story, this serialized podcast, is as much about racial tensions and distrust as it is about bad policing and injustice. Exactly how to define that injustice is where you come in.
(06:32) This story is about a white Oklahoma City Springlake patrol officer, and how an off the clock traffic stop of a black grandmother launched an investigation into sexual assault. That investigation ultimately identified 36 alleged crimes at 17 alleged crime scenes against 13 black females who ranged in age from 17 to 57. Yet, without a single piece of direct forensic evidence, not a single independent eye witness, and mounds of reasonable doubt, the officer was found guilty and subsequently sentenced to 263 years in an undisclosed prison. That officer is Daniel Holtzclaw, and this is my podcast to uncover the truth.
(07:14) My name is Brian Bates. I'm a licensed private investigator. I worked the Daniel Holtzclaw case for the defense. I have in my possession every piece of discovery evidence in this case. I will be revealing every police report, every allegation, every interview, and every instance where officer Holtzclaw appears guilty, and every instance where he appears innocent. It is my opinion, after researching this case in its entirety, that Daniel Holtzclaw is innocent of the crimes in which he was convicted of, and I will lay out in great detail how I came to that conclusion. Welcome to the premiere episode of my podcast, Bates Investigates Season One: The State of Oklahoma Versus Daniel Holtzclaw.
Reporter: (08:00) Officer Daniel Holtzclaw, with the police department for three years, is accused of raping and sexually assaulting women he pulled over while on the job.
Jannie Ligons: He said, "Come on, come on. Just a minute, just a minute." I'd say, sir, "I can't do this." I'd say, "You'd going to shoot."
Kim Davis: Your description of him?
Sherri Ellis: He's black.
Kim Davis: Okay, he's a black male.
Kim Davis: What did your daughter tell you?
Amanda Gates: She said, "I met this really hot cop."
Shardayreon Hill: So this is good evidence?
Rocky Gregory: Well, you tell me.
Brian Bates: (08:38) The story of Daniel Holtzclaw begins in the early morning hours of June 18th, 2014. At that time, Holtzclaw had graduated the police academy and had been working the second shift patrol out of the Springlake district for less than about two years. Like most officers, Holtzclaw worked so many days on and then so many days off. He had just returned to patrol duty after a few days off, on June 17th. Holtzclaw begins each shift around 4:00 p.m. in the afternoon and ends about 2:00 a.m. the following morning.
It's a little before 2:00 a.m. on June 18th, 2014. Holtzclaw has pulled into the Springlake briefing station. The Springlake station is located in a residential neighborhood just west from where the original Springlake Amusement Park was once located. Holtzclaw was released from his shift by a supervisor shortly after his arrival. Now off duty. Holtzclaw then drives his take home patrol car away from the Springlake Station and north along North Prospect Avenue. His onboard patrol car GPS system, technically referred to as automatic vehicle locator, or AVL for short, has tracked Holtzclaw's every movement throughout his shift. That, however, suddenly goes dark as he approaches Northeast 50th Street as he reaches over and turns off his patrol car's onboard computer.
This computer controls his communications with dispatch, allows him to run searches, and powers his patrol car's AVL system, even though records will eventually show that he literally turns off his computer after every shift. Shutting that system off is a violation of a fairly new change to OCPD's policies and procedures.
Holtzclaw turns left on to Northeast 50th Street heading westbound. It's almost pitch black. At the same time, another vehicle has turned on to Northeast 50th just a couple of blocks ahead of him. Holtzclaw takes notice of the vehicle. It's an older model, four door, red, Pontiac Grand Am with dark tinted windows. Holtzclaw will later recount that what got his attention was the fact that he observed the vehicle to swerve just a bit. As the two vehicles approached the red light at Northeast 50th and Lincoln Boulevard, he has a decision to make.
To go home, Holtzclaw just needs to make a right turn onto Lincoln Boulevard, but the Grand Am doesn't have its blinker on. If he's going to pull the vehicle over, he'll have to do it now. I'm sure it seemed like a pretty mundane decision at the time, but Holtzclaw has no way of knowing how that split second decision was going to impact the rest of his life.
(11:26) As the light turns green, both vehicles proceed straight ahead. Holtzsclaw reaches over and turns on his overhead strobe lights signaling for the vehicle ahead of him to pull over. Both cars come to a stop just 200 feet west of the intersection. It's a fairly well lit intersection at the highest point in the immediate area, and Holtzclaw's strobe lights are literally a beacon in an otherwise blank canvas of the night. Additionally, they are only two miles, as the crow flies, from the Springlake Briefing Station, and they are parked directly in front of a two story office building that has numerous exterior surveillance cameras, and a 24 hour armed off-duty police officer working security.
Holtzclaw steps out of his patrol car and cautiously walks towards the Grand Am. He's understandably on high alert, and the tension is growing. He can't see inside the car because of the heavily tinted windows. He has no idea how many people are inside or what they are doing. He has one hand on his holstered revolver. He thinks to himself, this could be nothing more than a drunk or impaired driver, even a child who has snuck out of the house with their parent's car keys, or it could be gang bangers, a pimp, a car full of stolen items or simply some local up to no good.
But Holtzclaw is nothing if not full of confidence in his ability to protect himself and handle almost any situation. At 27 years old and standing six foot two inches tall, this 260 pound, half white, half Japanese officer is a Goliath of a man. Holtzclaw's tension, however, is quickly alleviated when he sees the driver's door open, and an older black female's face peering between the gap.
(13:10) She exclaims, "The window, it don't roll down." The driver, a 57 year old grandmother appears harmless enough, but the officer is still suspect as to what the driver is up to at this late hour. With purple striped hair, large hoop gold earrings, and the demeanor of barely opened eyes and a raspy slur to her voice, the officer thinks the open travel cup of dark liquid next to her in the console may hold the answers as to why she was swerving. The traffic stop lasts for about 15 minutes, from 2:00 a.m. until 2:15, at which point the officer concludes the swerving may have been nothing more than inattentive driving, or nervousness from seeing a patrol car in her rear view mirror.
And the driver had every reason to be nervous, she hasn't had a valid driver's license in about 30 years. Traffic stop concluded, both cars make a U-turn and then immediately turn north onto Lincoln Boulevard and get on to Interstate 44. From Holtzclaw's perspective, this traffic stop is a non-event, and he continues his 20-minute drive home, knowing he has to return to work later that same afternoon.
His perspective, however, couldn't be further from reality. At 3:40 AM, just an hour and 25 minutes later, and just a few blocks north fromwhere the traffic stop occurred, two Springlake Patrol Officers are stopped in a parking lot off Lincoln Boulevard. They have just checked an alarm call at a business. A Maroon Ford Expedition pulls up, and its frantic occupants approach the officers. One of the people getting out of the vehicle is the grandmother from the 2:00 a.m. traffic stop. The other occupants are the grandmother's adult daughter, the adult daughter's young children, and the adult daughter's live-in boyfriend. The first words to the officers, and I'm paraphrasing, "My mother, she was raped by a cop who stopped her right over there."
The fuse was lit and there was no turning back.
(15:08) What happened next, in my opinion, directly contradicts an often parroted theme regarding the Daniel Holtzclaw case: that he somehow picked his victims, poor black females in a bad part of town with a history of criminal activity, because he somehow knew that even if they reported his crimes, the police would never believe them or take their complaint seriously.
The reality though is completely in contrast to that theme, and it's something Holtzclaw would have known. There is an immediate flurry of activity initiated from the officers at the scene. They take the complaint extremely seriously. Calls go out to dispatch for a watch commander, the supervisor in-turn contacts additional officers, each with their own specific task. By 4:00 a.m. no less than a dozen officers are either on scene, in route, or working directly behind the scenes at a furious pace.
The lieutenant over sex crimes has been contacted. And the grandmother, who has now been identified as 57 year old Jannie Ligons, has been transported back over to Northeast 50th in Lincoln, to point out exactly where she says she was sexually assaulted.
(16:17) Detective Kim Davis is a veteran Oklahoma City police officer. She's at home asleep with her husband, who is also an Oklahoma City police officer, and a member of the department's swat team. Davis is a detective with the sex crimes unit, and she's on-call this night for any sex crimes complaints. When she's reached by telephone, she instructs officers to take Jannie Ligons to Southwest Medical Center.
Detective Davis says that she'll get dressed and then come take Ligons's statement at the hospital. Detective Davis is one of at least three Oklahoma City police officers that have starring roles throughout this podcast for the prosecution. More about her in a moment. When Ligons arrives at the hospital, she is subjected to the unfortunate reality of a SANE Test, also known as a rape kit.
The nurse asks very intimate and embarrassing questions, but it gets even more personal. Ligons is fortunate, if that's even the right word, In some regard. She claims the sexual assault was limited to her being forced to perform oral sex upon the officer. So the poking and prodding of the nurse is limited to swabs taken of the inside of her mouth. If prosecutors are lucky, they will find conclusive evidence of sexual contact.
(17:33) Ligons is also asked to write down her account of exactly what happened during the traffic stop. I don't want to rely on me being able to accurately and objectively retell what Ligons claims happened to her during the traffic stop. So I've asked Trina, a professional voice actress, to read directly from Jannie Ligons handwritten statement.
Black Female (Ligons’ Written Statement): (17:55) I was going down 50th passing Kelly. I noticed car lights on the side of me. As he got a little closer, I noticed it was the police. He got behind me. As I passed the lights on Lincoln, he turned his lights on. I pulled over at the building by 50th and Lincoln. He stopped behind me, got out of his car and came to my car. My window wouldn't go down, so I had to open my door. He said, "I see where you were swerving. Have you've been drinking?" I told him, "No sir, I don't drink." He told me to get out of my car. I was following him. He said, "Are you sure you haven't been drinking? I said, "No sir, I don't drink." He asked if there was alcohol in my cup in my car. I said, "No sir, it is Kool-Aid." He said, "If it is alcohol, I'm going to arrest you." I said, "You can taste it yourself. It's only Kool-Aid." Then he had me walk to his car, had me put my hands on his car, spread my legs, and began searching me. He asked, "Do you have any illegal drugs on you?" I said, "No, sir." He checked my pockets. Then he told me to sit in his car. He opened the back door and I got in. Then he said, "Are you sure there isn't anything illegal in your car, because if there is, I'm taking you to jail." I said, "No sir." He shut the car door. Then he went to my car, the driver's side. Then he looked for a minute, then he came back and opened the door. He asked, "How do I know you don't have anything in your bra?" I told him I didn't. I asked if he wanted me to raise my shirt. He said, "Yes." I raised my shirt up to my bra and he took his flashlight and shined it on my chest. Then he took his hands to his private parts and started messing with it. I put my shirt down. Then he asked if anything was in my pants. He wanted me to pull my pants down. I told him, "I couldn't do that." I put my pants down to my knees. I kept my panties on. Then I put my pants back on. A car pulled into the parking lot, but then left. When the car left, he unzipped his pants and pulled his penis out. I was sitting in the car with my feet outside the car. He said, "Damn girl, you got a big booty." When his penis is out, I turned to the side. I said, "Please, you can't do this." I was afraid he was going to kill me. I looked and saw he was blond headed. He said, "Come on, I don't have all night. I just got off work. I want to go home, I'm tired." Another car drived by but didn't stop. That's when he held his penis in his hand, and it was hard. He put his penis in my face. He said, "Come on or I'll take you to jail." I leaned down and put his penis in my mouth like a second. I thought he was going to shoot me! I was scared! I was frantic! I could see his gun on his side. Then he told me, "Come on, just a minute. Then I promise I'll let you go." So I put it in my mouth for 10 seconds, then he moved back. Then I got up and went to my car. I kept saying, "Thank you sir." I was begging for my life, when I got to my car, he said, "I'm going to follow you to your daughter's house." I was in my car. He went so fast. He was gone. So then I got my phone and drove to my daughter's house.
Brian Bates: (21:03) Shortly thereafter, Detective Davis arrives at the hospital and takes a statement from Jannie Ligons. Davis, an almost 30 year veteran of the Oklahoma City Police Department at the time, is originally from Bethany, Oklahoma. She attended high school in Oklahoma City and graduated college from the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond. Upon graduation, Davis worked for a time as an office secretary. She didn't like it, too boring, she says.
(21:30) I'm going to pause for just a second here to introduce the source of this next soundbite and another one that comes a little later of Detective Rocky Gregory. These clips are from an investigative documentary by conservative blogger, author and journalist, Michelle Malkin. Malkin is a tireless advocate for Daniel Holtzclaw and she produced a really great documentary about this case. It's called Daniel in the Den: the truth about the Daniel Holtzclaw case. I can't recommend enough that you watch it. I've even put a link at the bottom of my website at holtzclawtrial.com. Now, here's a clip of Detective Davis describing her decision to become a police officer.
Kim Davis: (22:11) Um, and I just ... it was boring and I needed something exciting. I'm kind of an adrenaline junkie and I wanted something different every day and something exciting. And so I applied to be a police officer.
Brian Bates: Davis was assigned to patrol and rode around in a scout car.
Kim Davis: So I did that for 11 years. And then I went into investigations and I was lucky enough to go straight into sex crimes, because that was my ultimate choice of of investigation.
Brian Bates: Davis joined the sex crimes unit in March of 2001. Detective Davis steps into a small room at the hospital and introduces herself to Ligons who is later described as sitting alone on a hospital bed and weeping.
(22:55) Davis starts by getting some background information from Ligons. Ligons is 57 years old, she has four grown kids and 12 grandkids. Ligons is currently employed part-time at a small daycare center where she and at least one of her daughters also works. Ligons says she has no medical problems, is not on any medications, and has no history of mental health issues.
(23:20) According to Detective Davis's notes, Ligons says she has no victim history, but according to my investigation that is not true. There are at least two past cases naming Ligons as the victim of domestic abuse and a case where Ligons reported a stolen car. In one of the cases where Ligons made allegations of assault and battery against another person, the location given was in the 5300 of North Lincoln Boulevard. This is just a couple of blocks north from where she alleges she was assaulted by Holtzclaw.
(23:52) Also according to Detective Davis's notes, Ligons disclosed she was arrested in 1985 but no charges were ever filed. In reality, there's a little more to that. For starters, it appears the arrest was actually in 1988. And the charge? Well, it was for possession of crack cocaine with the intent to distribute. That's legal talk for being a drug dealer. While the case is from the 80s, and charges were never fully pursued, I'm not exactly certain what relevance it has to this case. But I do find it interesting that Detective Davis downplayed it in her report as if it was something much more minor.
Ligons also said that she lives with her boyfriend of approximately 20 years, Richard Long. She refers to him as her fiance. The two of them have had financial difficulties for a while now. They've both been sued multiple times over debts owed with Richard having the more extensive list of small claims actions taken against him.
With the background information complete, Detective Davis has Ligons provide additional details about the traffic stop.
(25:01) Ligons offers up these details that were not in her handwritten note. She said she went to a male friend of her's house around 7:30. She refers to the man as Mac. Mac lives in the area of Northeast 46th and Prospect very near the Springlake Station. Ligons says her friend Diane was also there too.
Ligons says that while she was there, she played cards and she played dominoes.
(25:26) Ligons also admitted to Detective Davis that she smoked two marijuana joints, something that she admits she lied to Holtzclaw about when he questioned her about any drug use during the traffic stop.
Ligons claims that she did not drink any alcohol while she was at Mac's house. She also said that she took two, quote unquote, p.m. pills around 12:30 because she had a headache, and then she laid down to take a nap. Ligons said she left Mac's house around 2:00 a.m. She and her boyfriend share the same car together, and her boyfriend has to be at work, and she usually takes him to work around 4:15.
Ligons said that when she left Mac's House, she drove past her elderly mother's home just a block or so away.
(26:09) She said it was while headed westbound on Northeast 50th that she realized that there was a police car behind her. Ligons claims that the police car pulled up next to her and then fell in behind following her. Ligons says she was pulled over as she drove through the intersection of Northeast 50th and Lincoln heading west.
(26:28) Much of what Ligons says next was covered in her handwritten account you previously heard. That said, Ligons repeated her written statement and said the officer made her put her hands on his patrol car while he patted her down. Regarding the sexual assault itself, Ligons offered the following additional details: (26:46) Ligons claims that Holtzclaw almost instantaneously took out his penis and exposed it from his unzipped, yet still buckled uniform pants. This will prove difficult to believe once it's revealed on a future episode, exactly what officer Holtzclaw is wearing under his uniform, and exactly how difficult it is for him to simply expose himself when using the restroom.
Ligons said that after she got into her car, the officer made a quick U-turn and then drove away at a high rate of speed. She at first thought the officer had taken her cell phone because she couldn't find it. She later discovered it was in her driver's seat and she was simply sitting on it.
(27:27) Ligons said she drove straight home to her daughter's apartment, which is about 15 minutes away. When she got home, everyone was asleep and she immediately woke her daughter, Marisa Ligons, up. Ligons told Marisa what had allegedly happened to her during the traffic stop. Ligons says that Marisa repeatedly tried to call the Springlake briefing station, but got no answer.
Ligons said that, quote, she, her daughter, her daughter's kids and her daughter's boyfriend, all got in the car and drove to the Springlake station. When they got to the station, the building was dark, locked up, and they couldn't find anyone on the property. According to Detective Davis's report, Ligons says they got back into her daughter's car and started to drive home. Detective Davis says that Ligons told her that her intent was to go home and to call a cousin of hers that is also a Springlake patrol officer by the name of Anthony Carter.
(28:21) As they drove towards their house, they saw a couple of patrol cars on Lincoln Boulevard in a parking lot just north of 50th. They stopped and reported what happened to those officers. Ligons described the officer to Detective Davis as white, 35 to 45 years old, 5'7" to 5'9", 225 pounds with a thick build, blonde hair parted near the middle, no facial hair, no glasses, and skin that is not smooth as if it's been scarred from acne. She said she didn't recall if the officer had pubic hair, but does recall that he was circumcised. Ligons says that the officer at no time threatened physical harm.
She said the officer was driving a newer model, all black patrol car with the word police in white letters.
Detective Davis next introduces Ligons to the YWCA, a victim's advocate, and offers the only support she feels she can at this time, that she will do her very best to investigate her allegations.
(29:20) In later news interviews, Detective Davis will claim that she works about a 100 sex cases each year. She also has admitted in more than one media interview that false sexual assault allegations against Oklahoma City police officers is fairly routine. She claims she personally works about one a month. She also says that the motive for false sexual assault allegations is pretty predictable, to get out of a ticket or an arrest, to get back at a bully police officer, and-or to make some money through a lawsuit or settlement.
Despite that reality, Detective Davis ignores the fact that she hasn't even verified any of Ligons's claims and hasn't even identified or spoken to a suspect yet. But she has already decided that Ligons is telling her the truth. Detective Davis said this to a local news television station when asked about her interview of Jannie Ligons.
Kim Davis: (30:15) When I first responded and talked to Miss Ligons, my gut told me something happened, and my heart broke.
Brian Bates: You know, I bet it's a pretty safe bet that every person who has been convicted only later to be exonerated was ultimately put in prison because the detective had a gut instinct that turned out to be wrong.
(30:40) Davis would later go on the record and say that the way Ligons looked, cried and answered her questions is what convinced her that Ligons was telling the truth. However, and conveniently enough, Detective Davis made no attempt to audio or video record Ligons's apparent compelling statements. In fact, she went so far as to later lie to the media when she told them that it's against police policy to record victims of sexual assault. A lie that was easily uncovered by the simple fact, Detective Davis later does audio and video record statements from several of Holtzclaw's accusers.
(31:19) While still at the hospital, Detective Davis takes the opportunity to interview Jannie Ligons's adult daughter, Marisa. According to Marisa, Jannie has lived with her since November of 2013. Marisa said that she called Jannie at max house around 9:47 p.m. on June 17th to ask her something about the washing machine. Marisa said her mother arrived home about 2:42 in the morning on June 18th. Marisa said that when her mother arrived at the apartment, she was asleep, but that her mother woke her up and that she was acting like a, quote, "Scared little child." Ligons then recounted the traffic stop to her daughter. Marisa repeated what Jannie had said, that she had tried to call the Springlake Station but got no answer. Detective Davis noted that Marisa said, quote, "They got into the car and drove to the Springlake station." These quotes will take more relevance and more importance later on in additional episodes when the stories start to change. Marisa claims that while in route she continued to try to reach someone at Springlake. She said after leaving the Springlake Station, they noticed a couple of patrol cars by the Lincoln Inn just north of North East 50th and Lincoln Boulevard. Marisa said that one of the cars parked in the parking lot matched the description of the newer model patrol car that her mother said had pulled her over. Marisa said that they pulled up and that her mother verified that it wasn't the officer driving that car that had pulled her over and assaulted her earlier. They then all got out of the car and reported the sexual assault to the officers.
(32:56) Davis then leaves the hospital around 5:30 a.m. and heads to northeast 50th and Lincoln. When Davis arrives, several other officers are on the scene or working other potential leads. Detective Davis meets up with her supervisor, Lieutenant Tim Muzny and another detective, Robert High.
(33:15) Oklahoma City police Lieutenant Brian Taylor is also on the scene. Lieutenant Taylor had arrived early on in the investigation and had been briefed on the allegations from Ligons's perspective and even spoke directly to Ligons prior to her being taken to Southwest Medical Center. Lieutenant Taylor then proceeded to Northeast 50th and Lincoln. There Taylor noticed that the closest building, the old Surety Life Insurance Building had several exterior security cameras. He then began walking around the property looking for an alarm permit number so it could be utilized to locate a responsible party for the property that might have access to the building's cameras. As he walked behind the building, he stops dead in his tracks. Right there in front of him is a black newer model patrol car parked next to the building. Lieutenant Taylor was able to match the patrol cars equipment number to a third shift officer, Sergeant Walters. Taylor then located sergeant Walters contact number and called him. When he reached Sergeant Walters, he learned that Walters was actually working off duty as security for the building overnight and was still inside. Taylor asked Walters to step outside. Lieutenant Taylor naturally thought Sergeant Walters might be the officer who had stopped Jannie Ligons just a couple of hours ago. Taylor asked Walters when he began his shift? 7:00 p.m. Lieutenant Taylor asked Walters if he had performed a traffic stop around 2:00 a.m. in front of the building. Walters said he had not. Taylor then asked if he could review the security camera footage and Walters complied. Taylor learned that camera number 31 would have been overlooking the traffic stop.
Sergeant Walters tells Taylor that the security camera system automatically shuts down at 2:00 a.m. and has to be manually rebooted. When Sergeant Walters brings up the footage, there is a gap from 2:00 a.m. until 2:02 a.m., because of the reboot. However, when the cameras come back online at 2:02 you can see two vehicles stopped in front of the building. One appears to be a patrol car with its strobe lights on. Unfortunately the screen is small and the quality of the footage is poor, but it's their only independent eye witness so they make arrangements to get a copy of the footage. Lieutenant Taylor also has sergeant Walters play back footage of the security camera that is pointed at his police cruiser. Taylor notes that Sergeant Walters's patrol car never moves. Remember that name, Lieutenant Brian Taylor. It will have some significance in a future episode.
(35:48) Detective Davis, Lieutenant Muzny and other officers canvas the area seeking out additional surveillance footage. Eventually Davis heads back to headquarters where several records clerks are busy pulling every file they have on every officer who has been assigned a take home, newer model patrol car.
(36:07) When Detective Davis arrives back at police headquarters, she's met by Lieutenant Muzny, who informs her that he had pulled photos of all of the second shift patrol officers and that he and Gregory were, quote, "Ready to show the victim a lineup. After reviewing the lineup, Detective Davis was not happy with the lineup. She requested that we meet with Deputy Chief Coleman and discuss other options," end quote. I find that statement very interesting, but also very troubling. Earlier you heard how Detective Davis has already prematurely decided that Jannie Ligons is telling the truth, even though not a single piece of evidence has been collected and scrutinized. Now we have Detective Davis intentionally setting aside, I'd argue even obstructing the use of, a very common investigative tool. You have to ask yourself, why would you be afraid to ask a woman who spent 15 minutes with her alleged attacker not to positively identify that attacker from a photo lineup? (37:12) We later learn that investigators feared none of Holtzclaw's attackers would be able to pick him out until they are told and shown through news media reports exactly what he looks like. What you'll see in the future, only one of Holtzclaw's accusers are ever shown a photo lineup, and that person is unable to positively identify Daniel as their attacker.
(37:35) While at police headquarters, Davis then attended a meeting of high ranking officers specifically gathered to discuss Ligons's allegations. Attending the meeting was Lieutenant Muzny, Deputy Chief Coleman, Major Winzel, a few miscellaneous officers, and a sex crimes detective for the last five years named Rocky Gregory. (37:56) Detective Gregory grew up in a farm in Ames, Oklahoma in the Northwest part of the state. Gregory attended Northeastern State University where he received his bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice. Detective Gregory will soon become code lead detective in the case of Oklahoma versus Daniel Holtzclaw. This is Detective Gregory talking about his lifelong desire to become a police officer.
Rocky Gregory: (38:21) I always wanted to be a cop. I grew up watching John Wayne movies and things. And got on the department in 2000, and work my way into becoming a detective and like him I just wanted to be a sex crimes detective. So I had a year in domestic violence and then went into sex crimes and then eventually homicide. But, I got on sex crimes, because I've three daughters and I just felt very protective of them, and I felt like I had that kind of protection that I like to kind of show others, a little bit too.
Brian Bates: During the meeting, the deputy chief advises that they have pulled a list of all Oklahoma City police officers who drive the newer model 2013, all black patrol car. The list is pretty short. They have utilized the automatic vehicle locator that tracks all patrol cars. They said when they sought the whereabouts of those officers around 2:00 a.m. that drive the newer model patrol car, only one officer was unaccounted for. An officer that had only been with the force for a little less than three years. That officer's name was Daniel Holtzclaw.
Brian Bates: (39:03) Detective Davis asked Detective Gregory about a complaint he worked recently where another black female, in the Northeast side of Oklahoma City, claimed that she too had been sexually assaulted by a police officer. Detective Gregory explains that the woman, Terri Morris, a 43 year old homeless drug addict, has been difficult to locate for followup interviews and when she is located, she's often uncooperative.
Detective Davis wonders out loud if there could be a connection with that case to this case. She notes that they should ask Holtzclaw about Morris if they indeed decide to interview him. (40:14) The deputy chief makes it clear during the meeting that Chief Citty is personally keeping tabs on this investigation as reported by the Oklahoman newspaper, quote, "Lieutenant Muzny pulls Detective Davis aside and tells her the eyes of the Department are on her and that," quote, "with the department already struggling with relations in the minority community that they know how explosive something like this could be," end quote.
(40:40) They collectively decide that Holtzclaw is their suspect, and they need to question him, and they need to question him soon. They decide that the easiest way to confront him is to wait until he shows up for his next patrol shift in just a few hours.
After the meeting, Detective Davis makes some phone calls to try and locate Ligons. She wants to see if she can locate any evidence backing up Ligons's claims and placing Holtzclaw at the scene. Detective Davis learns that Ligons has gone to a relative's house on Northeast 55th. So Detectives Davis, High and a CSI tech, drive there and tell Ligons they'd like to forensically examine her cell phone and car for fingerprints or possibly even DNA. Ligons agrees and hands over her phone. She explains to Davis however that her car is still with her boyfriend, Richard Long Jr., and it's parked at his job. After Davis has Ligons's cell phone processed for fingerprints, the investigators head to the Chesapeake Energy Campus on Northwestern avenue in Oklahoma City.
There they process Ligons's and Long's shared vehicle. Detective Davis and the technician spend about an hour photographing the vehicle and taking samples of possible fingerprint or DNA trace evidence. After finishing processing the red 2004 Grand Am, Davis heads back to headquarters to see how the records searches are going and to meet up with detective Gregory. They already have plans to be at the Springlake Briefing Station before Holtzclaw arrives for his patrol shift starting at 4:00 p.m.
(42:13) When the detectives arrive at the Springlake Station, they slip into the major's office and brief the higher ups as to what's going on and that they want to interview Holtzclaw in depth, but they don't want to make a scene. The following is some audio that was done by Oklahoman reporter, Adam Kemp, regarding Kim Davis and Rocky Gregory showing up at the Springlake station.
Kim Davis: (42:35) We got to line up at like 3:30 for Holtzclaw, because he reports to work, he has to be there by four. So we got there early, spoke with his captain. What kind of officer is he? Hard worker, confirm that he drove an all black vehicle, confirm that he worked that night. And we did check his file later and stuff, but just kind of getting the basics.
Brian Bates: Shortly thereafter, Holtzclaw arrives for his shift. He sees the commotion going on in the Major's office, but doesn't pay much attention to it, but then he's motioned to join them. Holtzclaw's introduced to Detective Davis and Gregory. He's never met them before, but he recalls Davis may have spoke to his class during one of his police academy trainings.
(42:23)The two detectives keep it friendly and cordial. Holtzclaw is asked if he made an off the clock traffic stop near Northeast 50th and Lincoln, and Holtzclaw without hesitation says that he did. Detectives Davis and Gregory say that there's been some sort of allegations stemming from that stop, and they need to take him downtown to talk to him privately and try to clear things up. Holtzclaw has been questioned about allegations of excessive use of force in the past, and he's always been cleared. He assumes this is just another one of those cases, and he agrees to ride with the detectives back to headquarters.
(43:58) Before Holtzclaw leaves the Springlake briefing station, the detectives tell him that they need to take a photo of him to be used in a photo lineup, standard procedure. So Holtzclaw agrees. But as I pointed out earlier, this photo will never be used.
Holtzclaw walks out of the Springlake station still armed with his service revolver. Detectives directed him to their unmarked sedan. Holtzclaw gets up front while detective Gregory drives. The conversation is casual. Holtzclaw's previous college football career at Eastern Michigan State University, Holtzclaw's time with the OCPD gang unit, anything except for the real reason they have come to talk to him. They want to wait until they'd get him Mirandized into what they call the box.
(44:44) Moments after they've pulled away, Detective High gets into officer Holtzclaw's patrol car. It will be driven to what is referred to as the evidence barn. There, experts in their field will scour over Holtzclaw's patrol vehicle for any evidence: fingerprints, DNA ... Common sense would tell you that detectives should be looking for anything that would prove or disprove Ligons's allegations, but it will soon become all too clear that investigators are solely focused on proving Holtzclaw is a sexual serial predator and they will ignore all the evidence to the contrary.
As Holtzclaw enters the interrogation room, Rocky Gregory sets the scene.
Rocky Gregory: (45:25) Welcome to our domain.
Brian Bates: (45:28) This is where I'm going to conclude this week's episode. Next week, I hope you'll join me for the interrogation of Oklahoma City patrol officer Daniel Holtzclaw.
In the meantime, keep an open mind and remember, you've only heard one side of these allegations so far. After Holtzclaw's interrogation, you start to get a more complete picture of whose story is actually backed up by the forensic evidence. We will also be getting into the Terry Morris allegations, and you'll hear evidence that was exclusively obtained by Bates investigates that was never played at Daniel Holtzclaw's trial.
This serialized podcast of Oklahoma versus Daniel Holtzclaw follows the timeline and perspective of the investigation, but with the scrutiny of the defense. If you've enjoyed this podcast, please take a moment to subscribe and give us a five star review.
If you'd like to know more and see many of the files used to compile this episode, please visit this season's homepage at holtzclawtrial.com. You can also follow updates on our Facebook page at indefenseofdanielholtzclaw or on Twitter @holtzclawtrial. Bates Investigates Season One: The Daniel Holtzclaw Case is researched, produced, and edited by me, Brian Bates.
This has been a Bug Stomper production.