05 24 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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Gresham MAX stop

 

Have you ever wondered it means when officials describe a crime as “gang-related”?

The Skanner News spoke to Lt. Claudio Grandjean, the public information officer for the Gresham Police -- a department seeing major upticks in violence in the face of massive economic and demographic shifts – to get a handle on when police choose to use the phrase and why.

The Skanner News: When do you say something is “gang-related,” “possibly gang-related,” versus not saying it at all?

Lt. Claudio Grandjean: That can change. We can go to the scene and we don’t know if it’s gang-related. We just know two people shot each other. At that point we wouldn’t say anything. And we might change that once we find out.

So in other words, we just arrived to the scene where somebody shot somebody. A lot of times if it’s a gang-affected area, that question will come up right away, and we’ll say, “Well, we don’t know.” Then once we’ve identified the victim, or the shooter -- if one of those people’s a documented gang member -- we’ll say it’s gang-related and the reason for that is, quite simply, the question people want answered is, “Is this happening because of gangs?” and a lot of times the answer is yes.

You get into something that’s more ambiguous [with the term “gang-related”], to be honest.

There’s no criteria, the same way there’s criteria for [what a documented] gang member would be.

TSN: What’s the difference between being “gang-involved” and “gang membership”?

Grandjean: For example, I could be kind of on the verge, not quite sure — [but] all my friends are gang members, and I’m kind of doing what they’re doing, but not really. That’s a “gang-involved” kid. That’s a kid that’s making decisions based on the gang, but he’s not necessarily a gang member. In fact, those are the kids you really want to identify because that’s the ones that early intervention really can help.

You and I get in an argument we say, ‘’Hey, what’s the problem here?” and we sit down and we talk about it. Violent gang members get in an argument and they decide to shoot each other.

TSN: So for example, two kids who are gang-involved get into some kind of conflict — not necessarily even a shooting — and media get a press release. Will that be categorized as “gang-related” to the media?

Grandjean: Designating a crime as “gang-related” is problematic. And I guess I would tend to say no, unless they were fighting for the gang.

Obviously, you don’t want that to happen, but there’s a whole different conclusion to that than people firing guns at each other.

If they have guns or knives, we’re going to report that as gang-related, because that escalation is related to the gang. If they’re just fighting, everybody’s been doing that forever.

TSN: There really isn’t the leadership structure that gangs had in the past. So does that change how you’d identify one? Because these could be kids who are joining together and not necessarily be a gang in what we would think of traditionally.

Grandjean: Right. They don’t have the roots and an OG who’s sort of pulling the strings. I get that.

And again, there’s a legal definition for purposes of documentation. If they are all coming together for the purposes of furthering criminal activity, whether it be, “Hey, let’s be the only ones selling drugs in this area, we’ll intimidate everyone else out of  here,” and that’s their thing -- even if they’re a bunch of kids getting together and they’re calling themselves whatever -- that’s a gang by legal definition.

But agreed, it doesn’t have the same top down structure that a lot of these traditional gangs do. And I suppose, part of that is the gangs aren’t as embedded here in terms of over generations as they are in Southern California.

TSN: How big a factor is race when incorporating “gang-related” into media releases?

Grandjean: Oftentimes, the information we put out is in response to media inquiries.

So, for example -- a white guy shot on NW 7th  versus a Black kid shot on 195th and Burnside, I guarantee I get asked [if it’s gang-related for the latter].  So I’m responding to what I’m being asked.

When somebody dies, our goal is to find who did it and get some justice for the family. It makes no difference to us what color the dead person is.

To be honest with you, the less information we put out in the early parts of an investigation the better it is for us.

But we have a duty to inform the public of what’s going on.

TSN: So maybe in some capacity, it would be better for media to do what I’m doing -- getting a better understanding of what gang-related even means.

Grandjean: I think you’re absolutely right.

For example: [if we haven’t gathered all the facts] but our Gang Team knows [there’s a high probability] gangs were involved, and I don’t say, “gang-related,” the public looks at that like why are you hiding that? So, then we kind of get criticized on that side.

On the other side, if we jump and say it’s gang-related just because it’s two Black kids that could seem racist. Because maybe it’s not gang-related. Maybe it’s just a kid who happens to have a gun.

It’s really a fine line to walk, and a difficult one to balance.

TSN: How has the face of gang activity changed in the Gresham area over the years?

Grandjean: Sometime in the early ‘90s, we started seeing our gang activity. There were a lot more Latino gangs; there were some hardcore OGs that had come up from Southern California during that time.

We saw what was happening in Portland, happening in our city, and said, “OK, the gangs are coming.”

The Black gangs were mostly in North and Northeast Portland. They have moved out this way for whatever reason, I’m not a sociologist. I don’t know why people moved.

Gangs the way they’ve evolved in the metro area in Portland and Gresham in particular, it’s not as turf-centered. They float around from area to area. We’ve had apartment complexes where there’s rival gang members living in the same complex, which just doesn’t happen in California.

It seems now, the source of income for so many gang members is running prostitution and that doesn’t necessarily have a turf, but it could.

A lot of times here a gang shooting isn’t over turf. In fact it rarely is, I can’t remember the last time I heard of one of those.

I’ll tell you that now when I talk to our Gang Enforcement Team, we have people that work nothing but Black gangs, people that do nothing but Latino gangs, and people who do nothing but the White Supremacist gangs—there’s plenty of work for all.

We’re certainly getting more early-intervention support than what we used to, which is good.

[But] that’s not really what we do, as the police, we kind of just identify them and direct the resources to where they need to go.

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