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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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  • Some hope killing will bring peace in Afghanistan     
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On Tuesday, October 22, the law firm of Ivie, McNeill & Wyatt (IMW) held a press conference announcing they will proceed in filing a civil rights/wrongful death suit against the Riverside Sheriff's Department after excessive force resulted in the death of Raymond Johnson. Managing Director of IMW, Rickey Ivie, Rodney S. Diggs and Antonio K. Kizzie along with the Johnson family met with press and media to discuss the case.

"Mr. Johnson was beaten by several Riverside law enforcement officers and died as a direct result of the severe head and bodily injuries he sustained during an approximate 10-minute beating," said Ivie during the press conference.

On Friday, October 11, Johnson, 41, was in the drive-thru exit at a Burger King located at 23125 Hemlock Ave. in Moreno Valley when 6 to 7 Riverside Sheriff's pulled up began to forcefully remove Johnson from his 2012 Black Chevy Cruze. Multiple witnesses report and captured footage of deputies hitting Johnson with their fists, batons, kicking, tasing and stomping him—so much so that Ivie stated a boot imprint was left on his chest.

"Mr. Johnson was unarmed," said Ivie. "We stand here today with Mr. Johnson's family, his children and his parents as we're in the process of filing a lawsuit in order to seek justice and vindication for Mr. Johnson's family—a family who has lost a father, husband and son, who was unjustly taken away from them.

"Our objective is to hold the officers accountable for the excessive force used during the incident, which led to Mr. Johnson's death and to bring closure for his family."

When asked about autopsy results the Sheriff's department released allegedly revealing that the injuries Johnson sustained during the altercation didn't cause his death and revealed he had enlarged heart, Ivie replied that the "assessment is totally inaccurate.

"We have had an independent autopsy performed and that autopsy shows unquestionably that Mr. Johnson died as a result of the beating—primarily from the severe head injuries, which demonstrate there were several lethal blows.

"That [first] autopsy was not correct."

When asked about the footage that hit the internet from multiple witnesses at the site, Diggs stated that it does help their case but there is room for further evidence.

"We believe that it helps but at this point, we're still investigating," said Diggs. "We do not have all the facts… the Youtube video… does show in the beginning, the officers beating Mr. Johnson with a baton at least seven or eight times and then you also see one of the officers stomping on Mr. Johnson, which is consistent with the autopsy report… which shows the footprint left in his chest."

The graphic incident, which was posted on Youtube, shows officers trying to get Johnson out of his car. The deputies continue to struggle getting Johnson out of the car while other deputies arrive and based on the footage, pull Johnson out of his car on the passenger side. The altercation is then obstructed by the car but an officer can be seen stomping on the other side of the car.

As far as to why the deputies were trying to apprehend Mr. Johnson or what resulted in his fatal beating, nothing has been revealed. The current situation suggests Mr. Johnson was minding his own business, buying food for his family. It was stated that the Sheriff's report claimed Mr. Johnson was holding onto his back seat and kicks were administered to force him to let go.

"We believe that the force that was used against Mr. Johnson was excessive and unreasonable," said Diggs. "As you may know, the force allowed to be used by any law enforcement officer has to be objectively reasonable to overcome the resistance of another.

"In this case, the force that was used against Mr. Johnson was not objectively reasonable. They used deadly and lethal force, which resulted in his death."

The Johnson family was advised not to speak to press and were observably shaken by the accounts of their family member's ordeal and death. Raymond Johnson's wife , Lawanda, acted as the pillar of strength and support of the family before and during the press conference. They are standing in support of each other waiting for justice on behalf of their loved one. Johnson was a father of five and had one grandchild.

"We believe law enforcement is an essential component of our community and that most law enforcement officers conduct themselves in a reasonable, honorable and professional manner," said Ivie. "However, when individual officers who are trusted to uphold the law, violate a citizen's rights, use excessive force and cause the unjustifiable death of a citizen, those officers must be held accountable."

"We believe that we do have a solid case, however it's still premature" said Diggs. "It's still early, so the investigation is still continuing and we won't know all the facts until we file the lawsuit and litigation actually begins."

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