Former Oklahoma City police officer Daniel Holtzclaw was sentenced to the maximum sentence of 263 consecutive years in prison on Thursday. Holtzclaw was convicted in December 2015 of raping and sexually assaulting eight women while on duty. The sentencing was delayed for 4 hours as Holtzclaw’s lawyers unsuccessfully appealed to the judge for a new trial.

All of Holtzclaw’s 13 victims were Black women, many of whom had previous convictions for prostitution or drug charges. Victims were slow to report his actions due to his status as a police officer. According to testimony obtained by the Oklahoman, Holtzclaw told one woman, “I’m not going to take you to jail. Just play by my rules” as he proceeded to touch her in the back of his patrol car. Another victim said that she was wary of telling police about her assault because “I didn’t think anyone would believe me. I’m a black female.”

Although the judge had banned cameras inside the courtroom, spectators were live-tweeting throughout the afternoon with updates.

After hearing the news, Twitter users reacted with a mixture of relief and joy.

In December, The Associated Press announced a study that found around 1,000 police officers nationwide who lost their badges for sexual assault or misconduct. 

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