Oklahoma poll numbers
OKC Artists for Justice members protest outside the Oklahoma County Courthouse on Nov. 17. (Christina Owen)

Notions of character likely to play key role in Holtzclaw trial

As the ongoing saga of the Daniel Holtzclaw trial enters day 16, we, the court of public opinion, can now see the main theme emerging: character.

For Holtzclaw’s family and supporters, they champion the positive comments about his character on their Justice for Daniel Holztclaw Facebook page, which is run by Daniel’s sister Jenny. They sell T-shirts that say “FREE THE CLAW” on the back and, according to BuzzFeed reporter Jessica Testa, they delete any negative comments about the accused.

It’s like crafting a social media character witness.

As with Holtzclaw’s family, a grassroots support group called OKC Artists for Justice has formed to advocate for the freedom they believe Holtzclaw stole from members of not only the black community, but the female community at large.

For the those accusing Holtzclaw of a collective 36 charges based on allegations from 13 women, their character is also being scrutinized, only instead of people chiming in to vouch for their goodness, the defense has made their histories of drug abuse, prostitution and arrests the focus of discussion.

There’s yet another set of character traits to be examined here: those of the eight men and four women sitting as Holtzclaw’s jury. Although each of his accusers is African American, the jury for his trial features only Caucasians. Can we trust that the facts of the case will remain the sole fulcrum upon which their ultimate verdict rests? Or, more likely, can we assume that racial bias comes into play when 12 people who look like the accused — who have family members and friends that look like the accused — are asked to judge his culpability. What is society to wonder when the jury pool features no one who looks like the plaintiffs?

With only the sixth of 13 accusers having testified Friday, there’s still a long way to go before anyone reaches the conclusions they seek.

FAIR article critiques national media on OKC trial

As the Holtzclaw trial continues, this piece from FAIR bemoans the fact that national media have largely failed to cover the case.

Certainly, racial discussions in national media have overwhelmed another big picture: that of widespread failure among law enforcement agencies to police themselves. With innumerable cases gaining notoriety for their racial prejudices, the surface of an egg is cracking, and the bloody yolk of police corruption is oozing into public view.

The FAIR story cites an Associated Press report in which about 1,000 police officers were fired during a six-year period for sex-related offenses.

On a similar note, former Thunder shooting guard (who actually never really shot that much) Thabo Sefolosha has a $4 million contract with the Atlanta Hawks, but he’s suing the NYPD for $50 million after they broke his leg during an altercation outside an NYC nightclub.

He’s lucky they only broke his leg and didn’t kill him: 873 people have been shot and killed by police this year. Thirty of them (3.4 percent) were black and unarmed, according to the Washington Post.

Sefolosha was born in Switzerland to a South African father and a Swiss mother.

Poll looks at presidential race, death penalty and #oklaed

Oklahoma poll numbers from a new Sooner Poll survey show, among other things, Donald Trump leading the Republican presidential field in the state with 27.1 percent of likely voters.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz follows with 18.3 percent, ahead of Ben Carson (17.5 percent) and Marco Rubio (16.3 percent). No other Republican candidate tops 5 percent, further indication that establishment Republicans have begun rallying their support around Rubio.

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton leads Bernie Sanders 46.6 percent to 12.2 percent in Oklahoma.

From a policy perspective, the poll also offers a look at two hot-button issues in Oklahoma: the death penalty and education funding.

The Oklahoman’s Graham Brewer wrote up the death penalty numbers:

A new Sooner Poll survey out today found that more than half (52 percent) of Oklahomans support giving those who would typically receive the death penalty a sentence of life without the possibility of parole instead. Conversely, the poll, done in conjunction with two local television stations, also found 34 percent did not support the idea and remained in favor of executing the state’s most heinous criminals.

Close to 800 Oklahomans took the survey by phone.

The poll then asked about David Boren’s $0.01 sales tax initiative to fund education, and the results favored the Oklahoma’s Children — Our Future campaign.

While 24.4 percent of respondents “strongly oppose” the idea, 40.7 percent “strongly support” it. Another 16.3 percent “somewhat support” the funding initiative, putting very-early support at an even 57 percent with a 3.5 percent margin of error. Nearly 10 percent of respondents had no opinion.

As always, the crosstabs of polls often include the most interesting data. That would be pages six through 13 below wherein the poll’s results are broken down among demographics of age, gender, religiosity and other demographics.

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Among notable crosstab figures: Ben Carson’s biggest support in Oklahoma comes from Republican women, 22.3 percent of whom support the neurosurgeon. Only 12.3 percent of men do, however, by far the lowest percent among the top four Republican candidates. Trump, by comparison, receives 30.8 percent of Republican men and 23.6 percent of women.

Regarding the proposed education sales tax, 66 percent of women support it, while only 46.6 percent of men do the same.

The Oklahoma poll numbers came from a survey funded by Griffin Communications’ OKC and Tulsa affiliates: KWTV and KOTV.

OKC will fine you for watering when it’s freezing

Are you one of those people who likes to waste water? And money?

Then crank on that garden hose when the temperatures drop below freezing. From an email by the OKC Neighborhood Alliance:

Water conservation enforcers are still out and about writing fines. In fact, the water conservation enforcement team will issue citations to those who water on days the thermometer reads 32 degrees or below.The Water Conservation Program prohibits watering during freezing temperatures to reduce water waste and ice on city streets.


Oklahoma City is under mandatory, year round odd-even watering schedule. Citizens whose address numbers end in an even number may water their yards on even-numbered days and citizens whose house numbers end in an odd number may water on odd-numbered days.  All customers are asked to minimize the potential for overspray onto city streets. Communities that use Oklahoma City water are required to abide by all conservation requirements in the program.

The email even notes how much money you can waste if you get caught “wasting” water when it’s freezing

  • First offense: $202 ($119 plus $83 court costs)
  • Second offense: $352 ($269 plus $83 court costs)
  • Third offense: $612 ($519 plus $83 court costs)

While Oklahoma received flood-inducing rains this year to address some of the region’s water problems, color is creeping back into the U.S. Drought Monitor’s map these days.

So keep an eye on your water use, folks. The city is keeping an eye on you.