An Oklahoma City police officer was charged Friday with raping or sexually abusing eight black women, and the NAACP is asking the U.S. Justice Department to file hate crime charges.
Officer Daniel Holtzclaw, 27, was charged with 16 counts, including first-degree rape, sexual battery, forcible oral sodomy, indecent exposure and stalking, ABC-affiliated KOCO-TV reported.
Mr. Holtzclaw is accused of raping at least two women while on duty and forcing several women to expose themselves and perform sex acts to keep themselves from being arrested.
The alleged victims, all black women, ranged from ages 34 to 58. Police suspect there may be more.
Anthony Douglas, president of the Oklahoma NAACP, told KOCO they plan to ask the U.S. attorney general to review the case and elevate the charges to hate crimes.
Friends and family say Mr. Holtzclaw is a victim of false accusations.
A Facebook page called “Justice for Daniel Holtzclaw” has more than 500 supporters. A GoFundMe page under the same name has raised more than $7,300 from nearly 40 donors for Mr. Holtzclaw’s legal fees.
“Daniel Holtzclaw will be vindicated, and justice will prevail,” the page states.
Friends are also selling “Free the Claw” T-shirts in support of the officer.