A billboard company in Oklahoma has removed a billboard bought by a conservative media outlet, which speculated that former cop and convicted serial rapist Daniel Holtzclaw is innocent. Holtzclaw has given yet another interview from prison about this development, one of several he’s been able to give from behind bars, even though his location is being kept a secret from the public.
Holtzclaw is serving 263 years after being convicted of attacks on eight women. The billboard was bought by a conservative digital TV network, CRTV, that’s launching in December, and was put up in North Oklahoma City, near where Holtzclaw committed many of his attacks against black women. OKC Artists For Justice, a group that advocated on the victims’ behalf, sent out a press release Tuesday night saying that Tyler Media, the billboard company, had promised to remove it after receiving numerous phone calls from the public.
“Tyler Media displayed very poor judgment to even consider allowing such an advertisement to be placed on a venue showcasing its name,” the group’s executive director Grace Franklin said in the release. “More importantly, Tyler Media showed little regard for the community in allowing the billboard to be displayed on the northeast side of Oklahoma City. This type of advertisement could be triggering and potentially traumatic for the survivors of the convicted rapist, and intimidating to the community at large. We are pleased about their decision to remove the billboard; however, we will continue to monitor Tyler Media and other outlets regarding this matter.” Local TV stations had reported that CRTV was planning to purchase more billboard spots.
CRTV told NBC affiliate KFOR that this whole thing is leftist censorship: “This is a perfect example of why platforms like CRTV are needed,” Chris Crane, CRTV Chief Content Officer, told the station. “Too often, if an opinion isn’t sanctioned by the Left, it is simply stamped out.”
Sure. Meanwhile, Holtzclaw was able to speak to KFOR on Tuesday night “from prison,” the station says.
“I’m aware that the billboard has come down, and I’m a little disheartened,” he said. “But I’m encouraged by the ongoing supporters who believe in my innocence.”
What nobody is making obvious here is that Holtzclaw isn’t listed on the Oklahoma Department of Corrections website, where every other offender in the state is located, supposedly for his own protection. He used to be listed in VINE, a database created so that victims could know when a perpetrator is moved, eligible for parole or released. But he’s not listed there either anymore, other than an apparently cached page that someone has forgotten to take down (but which still doesn’t list his location).
KFOR previously reported that Holtzclaw is being held in a secret location and using an alias in the prison system, a luxury he is being afforded for reasons that still haven’t been fully explained other than “safety.” Yet KFOR and ABC’s 20/20 have been able to speak to Holtzclaw by phone, with both stations apparently abiding by a genteel agreement not to say where he’s locked up.
On Wednesday morning, Holtzclaw’s sister Jenny, who’s insisted on his innocence, indicated that there’s been a new development in his case. Holtzclaw has been appealing the guilty verdict and asking for a new trial.