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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While many tides have changed in the years since the Civil Rights Movement, both locally and nationally, injustices in the Black community still continue to run rapid on a host of issues, so much so that its given birth to a new movement called, Black Lives Matter.

That term, “Black Lives Matter” exists both as a free-to-use by anyone term in the realms of social media and beyond, it is also an established organization with chapters all across the country, including Portland.

Adrienne Cabouet, filed to start a Black Lives Mater chapter here in Portland back in February, and earlier this month the young faction celebrated hosting its first new member orientation.

We caught up with Cabouet, to discuss the mission of Black Lives Matter Portland, the recent revelations that the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter may be under surveillance by local governmental agencies, and why the group has chosen to limit membership to people who identify as being of African descent amongst other things.

TSN: When and why did you decide to file to become a chapter of Black Lives Matter?

AC: Our chapter was founded in February of 2015, and we connected with the national organization founded by Patrice, Aliza, and Opan, in June. We were formed basically because we saw the need for a Black-only space in the Black Lives Matter movement here in Portland, after going to a lot of actions and rallies that were dominated by White folks we realized Black people needed spaces that work around them.

Indeed, and why do you guys feel, in Portland it’s important to have a Black-only space in this movement.

AC: Because the city, although it has a reputation as being very liberal and very progressive it has a continued history of white supremacist violence against Black folks including in organizing spaces. So, a lot of times in meetings there was pretty direct racism and threats. So, it was important in terms of safety, and determination to have a Black-only space.

We work with ally groups, but our actions, our meetings those are planned by Black folks.

TSN: I was reading an article in the LA Times that said, “Black Lives Matter is a slogan, it’s an organization and it’s a movement, but those don’t always overlap.” Can you offer some more insight into the these differences.

AC: #BlackLivesMatter, the hashtag was created in the wake of the non-indictment of George Zimmerman in the murder of Trayvon Martin. Patrisse Cullors, Aliza Garza, and Opal Tometi in the years since, particularly after Ferguson [which is the banner] to a nationwide movement, those three founded the Black Lives Matter Network, of which Black Lives Matter Portland is a chapter. There are [more than 20] chapters in the US, including chapters in Canada and Africa. We are accountable to each other, and accountable to a larger organization, but we operate autonomously. So because it’s an organization and a hashtag, not everyone that uses the hashtag is a part of our organization, you have to be a registered chapter in order to claim affiliation with the network. But, there a number of groups working in the larger movement that use the hashtag, like Black Youth Project, like Don’t Shoot Portland.

TSN: What is it that Black Lives Matter Portland is working for specifically?

AC: We’re working on the campaigns for Kendra James and Keaton Otis, two Black folks that were murdered by the police in Portland. We want new investigations into their deaths, and the firing of the officers that killed them.

We want community control of the police of Portland, Black families who’ve been moved out by intentional gentrification to move back into their homes. We’re starting a Copwatch in Northeast Portland, in the area around PCC Cascade and Jefferson High. And we’re working on more educational programs as well as working with the All-African People’s Revolutionary Peoples Party breakfast program.

TSN: Can you speak to some of what you just mentioned too—why queer and trans people are important to your movement.

AC: This movement was founded by three queer Black women. Previously in the 60s, the Black Liberation movement and Black nationalists were very misogynistic and homophobic, and this time we recognize that those folks are the most marginalized in our community and need to be leading us.

TSN: Indeed. Also, with the news that Black Lives Matter as a hashtag may be under watch by the DOJ and other government organizations, who is BLMPDX moving forward?

AC: We’ve always moved under the assumption that we were being surveilled. We all know the history of COINTELPRO.

TSN: Indeed, and in terms of the work that you all are doing who do you want to be a member of Black Lives Matter Portland?

AC: Every single Black person in Oregon. It is open to all Black folks.  The only way that Black folks are going to get free, is a mass movement for liberation.

TSN: How long do you see movement lasting into the future.

AC: The work that we’re doing now, we’re not going to see the benefits now, it’s going to be for our children. 

 

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