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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PHILADELPHIA (CNN) -- Attorney General Eric Holder said Monday that it has become clear new strategies are needed to deal with how police respond to "active shooter" situations -- those in which someone with a gun is still on the scene and firing at victims.

Shootings like last month's at the Washington Navy Yard have tripled in recent years, Holder told the International Association of Chiefs of Police Conference, and there have been 12 already this year. And he said such shootings have become more deadly -- a 150 percent increase in the number of people killed over the past four years.

"Although research methods and results vary, it's become clear that new strategies -- and aggressive national response protocols -- must be employed to stop shooters in their tracks," Holder told the police chiefs.

In the Navy Yard shooting, the police response time was considered extremely fast. D.C. Metro Police Chief Kathy Lanier said her officers were on the scene in seven minutes, which is about half the national average response time.

But still, 12 people were killed.

Experts say that despite a quick response time, the first officers on the scene often must wait until more highly trained special weapons and tactics teams arrive, and in the interim lives could be lost.

Holder said that years of analysis reinforces the need for "an immediate, aggressive response to active shooters. In order to prevent additional casualties, it is often patrol officers -- not necessarily SWAT teams -- who serve as the tip of the spear in responding to these incidents."

Security consultant Chris Grollnek describes current tactics as, "Respond once your backup arrives, and use a contact-cover approach so you are not on a suicide mission."

Holder said that police don't always have the luxury to take the time to get their best-trained, best-equipped officers to the scene.

"To save lives, the first officers to arrive must sometimes be the ones to directly engage an active shooter," Holder said. "That's why all law enforcement officers must have the best equipment and most up-to-date training to confront these situations. We owe these officers nothing less."

Grollnek focuses on training regular people how to protect themselves before police arrive at the scene. He says people who work in places where a shooting could happen could use some training, too.

"Get up and move -- do not become a victim, don't be a stationary target," he said. "React by escaping the target."

Holder said the Justice Department has partnered with groups like the IACP to train more than 50,000 front-line officers, more than 7,000 on-scene commanders and more than 3,000 local, state and federal agency heads on how to respond to active shooter situations. And it has joined with other federal agencies, local partners and outside experts to develop guidance for schools, churches, colleges, universities and private citizens on how to prepare for such incidents.

Holder also said that the Justice Department has placed an increased emphasis on evaluating threats with the goal of disrupting potential shootings and other violent attacks. The FBI's Behavioral Threat Assessment Center has successfully disrupted hundreds of potential shootings --including 150 this year --Holder said.

While Holder pointed to partnerships with the IACG in active shooter response and prevention, there is disagreement on other issues: IACG President Craig Steckler, retired chief of police in Fremont, Calif., said in his introduction of Holder that the group's membership "profoundly disagrees" with the Justice Department's decision not to challenge laws legalizing marijuana in Colorado and Washington state and not taking a stand against legalizing marijuana in California, as that state's Proposition 19 would do.

"This decision by the U.S. Department of Justice, in our view, will open the floodgates for those who want to legalize marijuana throughout the country, those who have the resources to place initiatives and referendums on state ballots and those who've continued to profit from the sale of this unlawful drug," Steckler said to applause.

Holder said the Department of Justice and law enforcement agencies need "marriage counseling" in dealing with some issues.

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