05 25 2016
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  • On Tuesday, a judge ordered the 78-year-old Cosby to stand trial on sexual assault charges 
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  • The judge concluded Officer Edward Nero played little role in the arrest and wasn't responsible for the failure by police to buckle Gray in  
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  • Bill Cosby faces a preliminary hearing Tuesday to determine if his criminal sex-assault case in suburban Philadelphia goes to trial.Prosecutors had declined to charge the comedian-actor over the 2005 complaint, but arrested him in December after his explosive deposition in the woman's lawsuit became public. In the testimony given in that deposition, Cosby is grilled about giving drugs and alcohol to women before sex; making secret payments to ex-lovers; and hosting Andrea Constand at his home. They knew each other through Temple University, where he was a trustee and she managed the women's basketball team. Bill Cosby's wife refused to answer dozens of questions during a combative deposition in a defamation lawsuit filed by seven women who say the comedian branded them liars after they accused him of sexually assaulting them, according to a transcript released Friday. Camille Cosby was subjected to intense questioning by the women's lawyer, who repeatedly pressed her to say whether she believes her husband "acted with a lack of integrity" during their 52-year marriage. The lawyer also asked if her husband used his position and power "to manipulate young women." Camille Cosby didn't answer those questions and many others after her lawyer cited marital privilege, the legal protection given to communications between spouses. She repeatedly said she had "no opinion" when pressed on whether she viewed her husband's behavior as dishonest and a violation of their marriage vows. About 50 women have publicly accused Bill Cosby of forcing unwanted sexual contact on them decades ago. Cosby has denied the allegations. He faces a criminal case in Pennsylvania, where prosecutors have charged him with sexually violating a former Temple University employee, Andrea Constand. He has pleaded not guilty. Camille Cosby answered questions in the deposition Feb. 22 and again April 19 after her lawyers argued unsuccessfully to stop it. A judge ruled she would have to give a deposition but said she could refuse to answer questions about private communications between her and her husband. Camille Cosby's lawyer, Monique Pressley, repeatedly cited that privilege and advised her not to answer many questions asked by the women's lawyer, Joseph Cammarata. The exchanges between Cammarata and Cosby became testy at times, and she admonished him: "Don't lecture me. Just keep going with the questions." Using a transcript of a deposition Bill Cosby gave in a civil lawsuit filed by Constand in 2005 and a transcript of an interview she gave to Oprah Winfrey in 2000, Cammarata asked Camille Cosby about extramarital affairs her husband had. "Were you aware of your husband setting up trusts for the benefit of women that he had a sexual relationship with?" Cammarata asked. She didn't answer after her lawyer cited marital privilege. Cammarata asked her about Shawn Thompson, a woman who said Bill Cosby fathered her daughter, Autumn Jackson, in the 1970s. Jackson was convicted in 1997 of attempting to extort money from Bill Cosby to prevent her from telling a tabloid she's his daughter. He acknowledged he had an affair with her mother and had given her money. "Was it a big deal when this came up in the 1970s that your husband had — big deal to you that your husband had an extramarital affair and potentially had a daughter from that extramarital affair?" Cammarata asked. "It was a big deal then, yes," Camille Cosby replied. She said she had "no opinion" on whether her husband's admission he obtained quaaludes to give to women with whom he wanted to have sex violated their marriage vows. Her lawyer objected and instructed her not to answer when Cammarata asked her if she ever suspected she had been given any type of drug to alter her state of consciousness when she had sex with her husband. A spokesman for the Cosbys declined to comment on her deposition. The Cosbys have a home in Shelburne Falls, an hour's drive from Springfield, where the lawsuit, seeking unspecified damages, was filed. An attorney handling a separate lawsuit against Bill Cosby revealed Friday that Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner provided sworn testimony Wednesday. In the sexual battery lawsuit filed in Los Angeles, Judy Huth says Cosby forced her to perform a sex act on him at the Playboy Mansion around 1974, when she was 15. Bill Cosby's former lawyers have accused Huth of attempting to extort him before filing the case and have tried unsuccessfully to have it dismissed. Huth's attorney, Gloria Allred, said Hefner's testimony will remain under seal for now. Hefner also was named as a defendant in a case filed Monday by former model Chloe Goins, who accuses Bill Cosby of drugging and sexually abusing her at the Playboy Mansion in 2008.   The Associated Press generally doesn't identify people who say they're victims of sexual abuse, but the women accusing Cosby have come forward to tell their stories.___AP Entertainment Writer Anthony McCartney contributed to this report from Los Angeles.
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CHICAGO (AP) -- For six decades, civil rights pioneer Ida B. Wells was woven into the fabric of Chicago's South Side as the namesake of a public housing project.

A Rosa Parks-like figure during her era, the journalist and suffragist was so revered that 1930s leaders put her name on a project that promised good, affordable housing for working class families. Within a few decades, however, the homes deteriorated, growing more violent and becoming riddled with gangs and drugs - not as notorious as the city's Cabrini-Green public housing high rises or Robert Taylor Homes, but certainly not a monument to Wells' legacy.

Then, nearly a decade ago, the city tore the Wells housing project down, leaving the activist's great-granddaughter Michelle Duster and her family worried Wells wouldn't be remembered at all.

Now, to mark the 150th anniversary of Wells' birth in 2012, an effort is under way to build a sculpture to honor her legacy at the site of the housing development and renew her relevance for future generations.

"When the housing project was coming down we were like `Her name is going to be gone,'" Duster said, sitting in her South Side home, a portrait of her great-grandmother hanging on the wall. "Her name and what she did can't be lost with the housing project."

The Ida B. Wells Commemorative Art Committee is seeking $300,000 in donations after commissioning noted Chicago artist Richard Hunt to create the sculpture, which is expected to combine images of Wells with inscriptions of her writings. They have raised a little more than 10 percent of the money so far.

While Wells' name endures on a grade school and a professorship in the city, the monument will aim to reflect the full legacy of a woman who was born into slavery in Mississippi and went on to become a well-respected crusader against injustice and outspoken anti-lynching activist.

Orphaned at age 16, Wells was left to support her five siblings. She became a teacher and moved to Memphis, where she sued a railroad because she wasn't allowed to sit in the ladies coach. When she later became a journalist, Wells wrote about that incident and the lynchings of three of her male friends.

Her writings enraged others and led to Wells being forced to leave the South. She kept writing and speaking about lynching across the U.S. and England. She died in 1931 and is buried in Chicago.

Planning for the Ida B. Wells Homes started three years after her death, as a project of the Public Works Administration. The homes opened in 1941 and first lady Eleanor Roosevelt visited the complex, with its 1,662 units - more than 860 apartments and nearly 800 row houses and garden apartments.

By the 1990s, the housing complex had fallen to drugs and violence. In an infamous 1994 case, two boys, ages 10 and 11, dropped a 5-year-old boy to his death from a vacant 14-floor apartment. The boys were convicted on juvenile murder charges. The same year two neighborhood teenagers produced an award-winning radio documentary "Ghetto Life 101," which aired on National Public Radio.

A year later, prosecutors charged seven people with running a cocaine ring out of the Ida B. Wells Homes that authorities say did such booming business drug buyers lined up 50 at a time.

By 2002, the last buildings were torn down in a nationally watched urban renewal plan initiated by then-Mayor Richard Daley that also targeted other housing projects - including Cabrini-Green, which saw the last of its high-rises crumble under wrecking balls earlier this year.

As Wells Homes residents focused on finding new places to live, some also requested something be done in tribute to the activist.

"I want people to remember Ida B. Wells the woman, not Ida B. Wells the housing community," her great-granddaughter, Duster, said. "Something should be done to remember who she was. I think who she was as a woman got lost when it was attached to the housing projects."

When the money is raised, that something will be a sculpture in the middle of a large grassy median on 37th Street and Langley Avenue in the historically African-American neighborhood of Bronzeville on the city's South Side.

The site, across the street from a large park, isn't far from the 19th-century stone house where Wells lived from 1919 to 1929. The Ida B. Wells-Barnett House is now a National Historic Landmark.

Hunt envisions a sculpture in his metallic, free-form style that will incorporate images and writings of Wells. He said he hopes to convey "what a courageous and intelligent and committed person that she was."

Carol Adams, president of Chicago's DuSable Museum of African-American History, said the sculpture will be a lasting monument to Wells and a place where people can learn about her influence. The neighborhood is already home to the Ida B. Wells Preparatory Elementary Academy, and Chicago's DePaul University has a professorship named for Wells.

"Her name itself just reverberates through the community," said Adams, who once worked in the Ida B. Wells Homes. "It was her voice, her stance that she took regarding lynching and how she used the media to wage that fight, what that fight meant to us. This was very significant for black people all over the country."

Duster said the sculpture will "have a lot of meaning" for those who lived in the homes named after her.

"I think they will have a huge sense of pride," she said. "Those who lived in Bronzeville when the homes were there, it's a source of pride for our neighborhood. For others it's a sense of pride in the city of Chicago."

Mostly though, she said, remembering her great-grandmother will teach a new generation that one person can make a difference and defy the boundaries of society's expectations based on race, class and gender.

"It's important to speak up when you feel you've experienced something not fair," Duster said. "Don't wait for somebody else to say something. That's one thing Ida did that I think is a legacy. She used her voice and talents to raise consciousness."

---

Online:

Ida B. Wells Monument: http://www.idabwellsmonument.org/

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