05 24 2016
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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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Homeless on the street

In an abandoned building, at a bus stop, on the sidewalk, under a freeway overpass.

These were the answers given when Seattle volunteers asked homeless people, “Where did you sleep last night?”

Earlier this year, coalitions in Seattle and Portland conducted a one-night count of the homeless population in King and Multnomah Counties respectively. Both counts occurred at the end of January 2015, providing a snapshot of the individuals and families experiencing homelessness in the middle of winter.

In Seattle there were 10,047 people counted as homeless on the night of Jan. 23, 2015. The Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness found 3,772 people sleeping on the street, 3,282 people in shelters and 2,993 people in transitional housing.

Multnomah County counted 3,801 people who were homeless; 1,042 people who were sleeping in transitional housing, 872 people who were in an emergency shelter and 1,887 people who were unsheltered on the streets.

Some of the difference can be attributed to the size of the counties. The population of King County is 2.044 million people according to the United States Census Bureau 2013 estimate. In contrast, the census calculation for Multnomah County is 766,135 people.

In King County, there was a 21 percent increase in the number of people who were without any shelter, compared to the 2014 count of 3,123 people sleeping on the street.

In Multnomah County, the number of unsheltered people held steady from the previous count in 2013, the number of people in shelters and transitional housing decreased.

According to the Multnomah County Point in Time report, the decrease can be attributed to an increase in homeless services and a change in the definition of homelessness. The Department of Housing and Urban Development used to include people in “rapid rehousing,” people who used subsidies and rent assistance, in homeless counts, but doesn’t anymore. Including people in rapid rehousing would increase the number of homeless by 800 people.

Rapid rehousing beneficiaries are primarily people of color, women, families with children and domestic violence survivors.

Though the Multnomah County numbers have decreased slightly, the gains have not benefited people equally.

homeless graph

Communities of color are overrepresented in homeless counts compared to their percentage of the general population.  African Americans have the highest relative rates of homelessness of any race with 24 percent of the homeless population but make up only seven percent of the county.

 “Homelessness is fundamentally about an inability to afford housing,” the report states. “Among point-in-time count respondents who answered a question about the causes of their homelessness, the most frequent responses were ‘unemployment’ and ‘couldn’t afford rent.’”

The recent "State of Housing in Portland" report from the Portland Housing Bureau concluded that African Americans have been priced out of nearly every neighborhood in Portland. With the median income of $27,923, the average Black resident would need to find rent lower than $698 per month to be considered affordable.

With those constraints, one could possibly afford a studio apartment in Parkrose, Centennial, Gateway or past 122nd and Division. Those neighborhoods have few to no vacancies, according to the State of Housing report.

rental affordability

What is harder to count than the unsheltered homeless are those who are couch surfing, or people who have unstable living arrangements. The Multnomah County Point in Time count tried to estimate those who were “doubled up” – that is, living with friends and family for economic reasons.

From Oregon Department of Human Services food stamp data and school district homeless student counts, the study estimated 12,543 who were doubled-up on the night of the count.

The study also found that communities of color were more likely to be those who were doubled up. In some instances, cultural barriers kept people from getting help from mainstream services. In other cases, these communities were reluctant to turn to mainstream and government agencies for assistance due to legacies of distrust.

The report stated that these communities were more likely to help each other before getting outside help, even if it means burdening a household that is already strained from poverty.

“As a result of these patterns, many people of color tend to rely on churches, family, friends, and the broader community for help rather than accessing mainstream service systems. Because of cultural norms that emphasize the importance of helping community members in need, communities of color are disproportionately likely to double, triple, or quadruple up before allowing community members to end up on the streets or in shelters.”

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