Badge of the Rapist-Racist
© 2015 by Mumia Abu-Jamal [12/14/15]
As the first phase of the trial of police officer Daniel Holdzclaw comes to a close, one is forced to take stock of what the trial and its (lack of) coverage means. Holdzclaw, a 28- year old white Oklahoma cop, was recently convicted of 18 charges of sexual assault, rape, sodomy and related offenses, the targeting and raping of some 13 Black women, from teens to a woman in her 50s!
An Oklahoma jury recommended the man be sentenced to some 260 years in prison!
If you winked, however, you would’ve missed it.
A serial rapist — of 13 females! When isn’t that a story?!
When the 13 woman are Black women.
Only one cable network, the Black-owned TV1 news program, hosted by former CNN contributor Roland Martin, covered the case, using internet reports from persons in court.
No one else. Not one. Why not? Apparently, Black Lives Don’t Matter.
Holdzclaw used his uniform, his badge, his service revolver, to stop, intimidate, and rape over a dozen women – sometimes in his own patrol vehicle – and amazingly, he raped a teenager on her porch!
And people wonder why cops can’t be trusted!
It took DNA and GPS evidence to bust this dude; but how can anyone even contemplate something so sick?
Easy. Most of the victims were poor Black women; some charged with being sex worker, others charged with drug violations — in other words, the vulnerable!
This cop carefully chose those who he knew had no social power, and little ability to resist.
And media silence reinforced that negative narrative; by belittling the worth of these women.
If they had covered it, they would’ve cast a harsh national light on police practices.
They chose not to.
Like a cop standing over a body in the road, they essentially said ìKeep moving. There’s nothing to see here keep it moving.
Mumia Update from PA Court on Medical Mistreatment
It was an amazing day Dec. 18 in Scranton, PA, with more than 100 people inside and outside the courtroom. Folks joined us from all over the East coast. Judge Robert Mariani began by reading an excerpt of the papers Mumia filed with the court, citing the life threatening conditions he suffered when he was hospitalized on March 30, 2015. The Judge referred to those conditions as ìserious,î signaling to all in attendance that he meant business. The DOC’s attorney, Laura J. Neale, argued for dismissal of the case on a technicality, that Mumia violated procedure in failing to exhaust his DOC appeals process before filing a suit in court. Our attorneys, Bret Grote and Bob Boyle, went to town. The judge disagreed with her too, citing precedents with which she was unfamiliar. The judge then asked her: are Abu-Jamal’s claims legitimate? After much back and forth she was forced to concede that they were legitimate, but insisted that there was a violation of the process. Then judge asked her, ìso do you mean to tell the court that you are upholding form over content?î Shortly thereafter, the court adjourned because the DOC’s attorney asked the judge to register his decision in a formal ruling. He came back with a powerful opposition to her motion citing precedent.
First order after that was to hear Mumia. Although he was stoic, Mumia painted a picture of his tortured crisis, explaining among other things how he scratched himself bloody at night at the height of the crisis. The DOC’s attorney argued that Mumia is better now because the DOC doctors administered the proper medicines. Mumia’s testimony ended with a question.
Mumia’s attorney, Bret Grote: Would you accept Hepatitis C treatment?
Mumia Abu-Jamal: Yes, with it I can live; without it I may die.
Meanwhile, Pam Africa was managing the rotation of folks into the courtroom and leading the protest outside. MOVE and many supporters held it down in the cold, and at one point, a white man brandishing his gun with a press pass provoked the rally. Four police officers stood by, flanking him on both sides. We took pictures, exposed him as an apparently police-supported provocateur, and kept it moving.
Dr. Joe Harris, took the stand as our expert witness. Dr. Harris argued that Mumia’s skin problem (Necrolytic Acral Erythema), anemia, and low hemoglobin count are all consequences of his active Hep C; and that the only solution is treatment with the cure. He also explained that Mumiaís skin condition hasnít cleared, despite the fact that he has been give the strongest topical medicines in the market. That remains the case, he continued, because Mumiaís skin condition is tied to the untreated Hep C. He also added that it is common for this kind of severe skin condition to come and go in Hep C patients; but that in the meantime, the Hep C virus continues to advance as indicated by signs of serious liver damage in Mumiaís system. At the conclusion of Dr. Harrisí testimony, the Judge decided to adjourn. We return to Scranton on Tues, Dec 22 for cross examination of Dr. Harris and more witnesses. The lives of the 10,000 PA prisoners with the Hep C virus are on the line.