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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Rudy Giuliani on Meet the Press

In the aftermath of a Black teen being killed in Ferguson, Mo., former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani was asked a simple question on the NBC television’s “Meet the Press.” Do you think that Blacks have a legitimate complaint about racial discrimination by police in their communities?

After responding yes, he added: “But I think just as much if not more responsibility is on the Black community to reduce the reason why the police officers are assigned in such large numbers to the Black community…”

As the Washington Post observed, “Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) offered some now-infamous analysis of the situation in Ferguson, Mo., on “Meet the Press” on Sunday. ‘White police officers wouldn’t be’ in black neighborhoods, killing black men, ‘if you weren’t killing each other.’

“This wasn’t Giuliani’s only point, but it was the one that spurred the most online reaction. Giuliani also reiterated a version of a statistic that has been common in the wake of the fatal shooting of Michael Brown earlier this year. ‘I find it very disappointing,’ he said, ‘that we are not discussing the fact that 93 percent of blacks are killed by other blacks.’ He insisted to another member of the panel, Georgetown professor Michael Eric Dyson, that ‘I would like to see the attention paid to that than you are paying to this.’”

Dyson countered, “First of all, most Black people who commit crimes against other Black people go to jail. Number two, they are not sworn by the police department as agents of the state to uphold the law….White people who kill Black people do not go to jail.”

Giuliani, a lawyer, an ex-federal prosecutor, and former presidential wannabe, knows better.

A Justice Department report on homicides committed from 1980 through 2008 found that 93 percent of Black homicides were perpetrated by other African Americans. Giuliani conveniently neglected to note that the report also showed that 84 percent of White homicide victims were killed by other Whites.

The 2013 FBI Uniform Crime Report reflected a similar pattern. It showed that 83 percent of Whites were killed by other Whites and 90 percent of Blacks were killed by other Blacks. The report found that 14 percent of Whites were killed by Blacks while 7.6 percent of Blacks were killed by Whites.

It’s not just a matter of Blacks killing Blacks and Whites killing Whites. Most homicides are committed by people who know their victim, usually a spouse or acquaintance.

According to Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics, 56 percent of homicide victims were killed by acquaintances. Another 22 percent of victims were killed by a spouse or other family member. Only 22 percent of the victims were killed by strangers.

So, it was disingenuous for Giuliani to assert that Blacks are “killing each other” as though that’s a phenomenon unique to African Americans.

The FBI annual compilation of crimes does not break down the race of people killed by police. However, the public interest website ProPublica studied federal data from 2010 to 2012 and concluded that young Black males were 21 times more likely to be killed by police than their White counterparts.

Giuliani, never considered a friend of African Americans, would probably be even more enraged if most Whites were being killed by Blacks. Yet, he pretends to be concerned about the loss of Black life at the hands of Blacks.

As we have seen in Ferguson, with Officer Darren Wilson killing Michael Brown, long before a police officer fires his weapon at an unarmed Black target, he frequently harbors certain misperceptions about the person at the other end of the gun barrel.

In the case of Wilson, he testified before a St. Louis County grand jury: “And when I grabbed him, the only way I can describe it is I felt like a five-year old holding on to Hulk Hogan.” [Grand jury transcript, Volume 5, page 212, line 21]

Wilson testified that he stands a shade under 6’4” and weights “210-ish.” Michael Brown was listed as 6’4” and weighed nearly 300 pounds.

Wilson was the same height as Brown and though the teenager enjoyed about a 90-pound weight advantage – which could be considered a disadvantage – Wilson was armed with a Sig Sauer P229, .40 caliber pistol loaded with 12 bullets, a nightstick and mace. With those clear advantages, along with the ability to call for backup help, which he had exercised, there was no reason a trained police officer should have felt “like a five-year old” holding on to a 6’7,” 302-pound professional wrestler.

Clearly, Wilson was also armed with certain stereotypes of young Black males and that may have affected his poor decision-making on that fatal day in Ferguson, Mo.

Both Rudy Giuliani and Darren Wilson are entitled to have their opinions of African Americans, however flawed. But their biases should not cost Michel Brown or anyone else their life.

 

George E. Curry, former editor-in-chief of Emerge magazine, is editor-in-chief of the National Newspaper Publishers Association News Service (NNPA.) He is a keynote speaker, moderator, and media coach. Curry can be reached through his Web site, www.georgecurry.com. You can also follow him at www.twitter.com/currygeorge and George E. Curry Fan Page on Facebook.

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