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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The Washington County TNT Squad's website headline says, 'When There's Something Big Going on in Your Neighborhood - Who Ya Gonna Call?'
(Photo from
www.co.washington.or.us)
 

A suburban law enforcement SWAT team serving a search warrant at New Columbia shot a young father Tuesday night who thought intruders were in his yard.

While police officials did not release the victim's name until late today, The Oregonian newspaper reported at midday that he is Alberto Flores, 31, who lives with his family on North Woolsey Avenue near where the Washington County Sheriff's Office Tactical Negotiation Team (TNT) massed after 9 p.m. last night in military-style uniforms and an armored vehicle.

Flores is at an area hospital with non life-threatening injuries after an exchange of gunfire with TNT in the darkness outside his home.

"The City takes incidents such as this very seriously. As with any officer-involved shooting, there will be a thorough investigation and we will make sure every element is examined," said Mayor Sam Adams.

Police officials say the Portland Police SWAT Team is away on a training mission; meanwhile news of the Tuesday night shooting came out just before the Portland City Council approved a new training facility for the Portland Police Department.

"I think the number one thing is something we've been asking the Portland Police Bureau about for years – which is when you call in another agency to help the Portland Police, who decides when it's okay to use deadly force? Because the Portland Police have a certain training around deadly force, and the Washington County Sheriffs Office has a different training around deadly force," said Dan Handelman of Portland Copwatch this afternoon.

Handelman outlined the recent fruitless efforts by the Albina Ministerial Alliance Coalition to persuade city leaders to adopt a 49-point policy plan submitted last fall, but almost all of which was dismissed during City Council hearings over the past few months.

Also, ironically, the city pulled the plug on its Charter Review Committee last month just as the panel was set to vote on police accountability policy recommendations.

Handelman urges concerned Portlanders to get involved with the AMA Coalition by reading up on exactly what their recommendations are.

"We don't know if this man fired his gun first according to the stories we've read so far, we don't know if it's the Portland Police who shot him, or if Washington County Sheriffs shot him. So there are lots of layers that we need to know," he said.

"I think overall everybody should be concerned that there's a man lying in critical condition because he was shot by somebody that works for our government, and that they did that in our name.

"And they still haven't figured out ways to de-escalate the situations without using bullets," Handelman said. "I think that's the main thing people have been marching in the streets about even longer than I've been doing Portland Copwatch, and that's 20 years now."

In statements today the Portland Police offered sketchy details about exactly what happened when Flores was shot Tuesday night, and how the TNT was involved. So far they have not revealed who exactly shot the victim, who had no ties to the case being investigated.

According to the Portland police, TNT was on hand in the 9500 block of North Woolsey Avenue to help with an arrest warrant as well as a search warrant related to a Sunday night shooting at New Columbia.

"Due to the high risk nature of the search warrant, the tactical team was requested to serve the warrant," Portland police said in a statement.

The TNT website shows the squadron wears a uniform of military-style green fatigues with helmets.  Their webpage headline says, "When There's Something Big Going on in Your Neighborhood - Who Ya Gonna Call?"

The Oregonian reported that neighbors say Flores was alerted to a disturbance in his yard, secured his personal handgun as his wife and children remained in the house, then went outside and confronted the intruders.

It's unclear how many shots were fired, but the daily paper reports the victim's 17-year-old son first staunched his father's gunshot wounds then was ordered by police to get down on the ground.

Flores' family was ordered out of the house before officers carried him to an ambulance.

The Portland Police say the original shooting they were investigating was gang related; on Tuesday night they eventually arrested 20-year-old Anthony Bagsby on charges of Attempted Murder, Assault in the First Degree and Robbery in the First Degree.

Police say they found a handgun at Bagsby's residence that had been used in a robbery and shooting Sunday at New Columbia.

Earlier Tuesday they also arrested a 16-year-old male who is charged with Attempted Murder, Assault in the First Degree and Robbery in the First Degree.

"Detectives from the Portland Police Bureau's Homicide Detail are investigating the circumstances of the officer-involved shooting," the bureau said.

Find more links to stories about this incident and more here.

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