05 23 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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Family of Rob Ingram, past winner of The Skanner News Drum Major for Justice Award

The Skanner News is preparing for the 2015 Martin Luther King Jr. breakfast by calling for nominations for The Drum Major for Justice Award.

Open to individuals as well as organizations, the awards are designed to honor those who have worked throughout the year to fulfill the ideals the Rev. King stood for: equality, justice, racial harmony, civil rights and peace.

The 29th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast will be held on Monday, Jan. 19, 2015, from 8:30 am —10:30 a.m. at the Oregon Convention Center, 777 NE Martin Luther King Junior Blvd., in Portland. 

Keynote speaker is the Rev. Benjamin Chavis, executive director of the National Newspaper Publishers Association and a former assistant to the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. At the age of 24, Chavis became one of the Wilmington 10, a group of teenagers and civil rights activists wrongly convicted of firebombing a grocery store in the city in 1971.

At the event, canned goods and boxed meals will be collected for the Martha Terrell Food Pantry, which is located on Northeast 8th Avenue and is available to any resident of that area. For the first time, we will also be collecting donations of newly purchased clothing, especially coats. 

For individuals nminated for the Drum Major for Justice Award, the best candidates are people who have gone beyond excellence in their paid positions; we are looking for people who have been active above and beyond their day jobs in actively creating positive social change in our communities.

For organizations, we are looking for wide-ranging work with results that can be shown to impact the Black community – and the Pacific Northwest region -- in the areas of education, business, health, and more.

Nominations will be accepted through Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015. Please send the name of your nominee with a description of why they deserve the honor. Please include your contact information. Send these to news@theskanner.com, or drop them off at The Skanner News offices, at 415 N Killingsworth St., Portland, 97228.

Past winners include:

Joyce Braden Harris, educator, community engagement manager of Education Northwest;

Joe McFerrin, Portland Opportunities Industrialization Council;

Karanja Crews, former Portland Public Schools teacher, founder of the Teaching With Purpose Conference, creator of the Journey to Freedom Project;

Sabin CDC Computer Training Center, Craig Fondren;

Rob Ingram, City of Portland Office of Youth Violence Prevention;

Portland Police Chief Charles Moose;

Imani Muhammad, Portland YOUTH Summit;

Former Sen. Avel Gordly;

Portland Youth Redirection Program, Bishop AA Wells; and Donnie Y. Griffin, Hate-Free Oregon Summit;

Retired Oregon Supreme Court Chief Justices Wallace P. Carson, Edwin J. Peterson, Judicial Department Task Force on Racial and Justice Issues in the Judicial System;

Walter C. Reynolds, MD, first Black graduate of University of Oregon Medical School;  

Herman L. McKinney for civil rights work in Portland and Seattle;

Calvin Henry, Oregon Commission for Black Affairs;

Kevin Fuller, Bridge Builders founder;

Josiah Hill, III, president of Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility, advocated “zero tolerance” for child lead exposure; awarded posthumously;

AND MANY MORE.

Send your nominations to news@theskanner.com. Get your tickets on our website, www.theskanner.com

 

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