Oklahoma City Council approves $25,000 Holtzclaw settlement
A $25,000 settlement passed an Oklahoma City Council vote to resolve a lawsuit against former police officer Daniel K. Holtzclaw.
The council agreed Tuesday to award the settlement to Demetria M. Campbell, who sued Holtzclaw and the city of Oklahoma City over allegations of excessive force by the former officer. The city accepts no liability despite the settlement’s approval.
Campbell said Holtzclaw slammed her against a brick wall outside a restaurant in 2013 without sufficient justification, according to her lawsuit, which was first filed in 2015. Holtzclaw later accused the woman of “fitting the description of an individual who had stolen a vehicle.”
Holtzclaw was sentenced to 236 years in prison for a 2015 conviction of rape, sexual battery, indecent exposure and other sexual offenses against 13 black women in Oklahoma City. All of the victims have sued Holtzclaw and the city since the former officer’s arrest in 2014.
Campbell was not one of the 13 victims reported in his felony case. Her settlement only addresses excessive force.
She stated in the lawsuit that Holtzclaw handcuffed and thrust her into his patrol vehicle after he pushed her face and head against the wall. He drove through various parts of the city while she “prayed and sobbed” in the back seat, her petition states.
The plaintiff also alleged Holtzclaw pressed against her inappropriately. An Oklahoma County District Court Judge ruled any sexual misconduct during the encounter would fall outside the scope of Holtzclaw’s employment with the city, according to court records.
Campbell said the incident caused both physical and emotional pain, according to the lawsuit. Municipal Counselor Kenneth Jordan wrote in a memo to the council that Campbell visited a hospital to seek treatment 90 minutes after Holtzclaw released her.
The plaintiff stated an Oklahoma City Police Department lieutenant took a statement from Campbell at the hospital and apologized to her for what had occurred, according to the lawsuit.
Campbell provided documentation for $14,400 of medical expenses that she said resulted from Holtzclaw's excessive use of force, according to Jordan’s memo.
The settlement also resolves the lawsuit for Holtzclaw, who was named as an individual defendant in the case.
He has four other lawsuits pending against him in Oklahoma City federal court from 11 sexual assault victims.
These lawsuits reference Campbell as a sexual assault victim and one of the first people Holtzclaw targeted in a pattern of attacks against black women. One federal lawsuit filed on behalf of seven victims identifies Campbell as the first known black woman the former officer sexually assaulted.
“Had (Oklahoma City police) responded to her complaint, none of the subsequent 13 African-American females would have been assaulted by Holtzclaw,” the federal lawsuit states.