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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Seattle Association of Black Journalists Offers Scholarship

The Seattle Association of Black Journalists has a scholarship to help African American students in the Puget Sound region who are pursuing college careers in journalism.

The scholarship was established to honor Patricia Fisher: a Puget Sound native, journalist, educator and role model for her support of young people and her contributions to the community.

Awards are based on scholastic achievement, financial need, community service and a serious interest in print, photo, broadcast journalism or multimedia/ online, and non- fiction writing. Scholarships range from $500 to $2,500.

The deadline is March 1.

To get more information go to the website.

If you have any questions, e-mail Jamon@aol.com.

County Council Issues Black History Month Proclamation

The Metropolitan King County Council this week celebrated the continuing contributions of African-Americans in the United States and throughout the world by proclaiming the month of February Black History Month in King County.

African American History month was the idea of historian and educator Dr. Carter G. Woodson, who hoped to raise awareness of African Americans’ contributions to civilization. As the founder of the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, Dr. Woodson created Negro History Week to be celebrated in February, the birth month of Abraham Lincoln and former slave and African American abolitionist Frederick Douglass.

The first Negro History Week was celebrated in 1926. In 1976, as America celebrated its bicentennial, Negro History Week became Black History Month, a celebration recognized in the U.S. and Canada.

Members of the Board of the Black Heritage Society of Washington, Inc. were on hand to receive the recognition from the Council.

 

Mayor Delivers State of the City Address

In his State of the City address before the Seattle City Council Tuesday, Mayor Ed Murray expanded the City’s commitment to support education, job opportunities and success for all of Seattle’s youth. He also pledged to hire an additional 100 police officers above the 100 net new officers he has already budgeted, and offered new initiatives to support small businesses, foster the arts, and activate urban parks.

“Today the State of the City reflects the 21st Century dreams of the 1962 World’s Fair: a vibrant city driven by technology and science, creating jobs and innovation in everything from transportation to health care,” said Murray in a packed City Council Chambers. “The State of the City also reflects our worst fears from the Great Depression, as issues of homelessness and inequity continue despite decades of effort on the part of this City to resolve them.”

The mayor cited Seattle’s current successes, including 63,000 new jobs in the city in the last five years, an unemployment rate of 3.5 percent and median income at an all-time high.

But the mayor noted that some communities are not fully benefiting from the current growth, especially African American and East African male youth between the ages 14 to 24. Seattle is one of 14 cities to receive a grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Innovation Teams program, which aims to enhance the capacity of City Halls to solve intractable urban problems and improve the lives of residents. The team’s first charge is to assess and address disparities facing young Black men.

Murray challenged Seattle’s employers to help double the number of available positions in the Mayor’s Youth Employment Initiative to 4,000. The City will partner with the Center for Children & Youth Justice to train outreach workers to engage young men and link them to school, jobs, training and other services. The City will also create a first-in-the-nation program to respond to the 40 percent of youth-violence cases that involve violence against a family member, reducing the need for youth detention. Seattle will also provide an additional $200,000 for Career Bridge, a proven program that puts individuals with criminal records on a path to success through job training, education and other supports. Seattle will also partner with Seattle Colleges to create a new College for Working Adults to help lower-wage workers increase their earnings or change careers.

To address the opportunity gap and the persistent disparities in our public schools impacting children of color, Murray will build on last year’s launch of the Seattle Preschool Program with a the first citywide Education Summit in more than 25 years.

As part of the City’s efforts to ensure that neighborhoods remain affordable and livable, the mayor today announced new initiatives to support small businesses and nurture art and culture as Seattle grows. The Commercial Affordability Advisory Committee will identify issues that lead to displacement of small businesses in growing Urban Villages and recommend actions that support affordable commercial spaces. And to support Seattle’s vibrant arts and cultural community, another major employment sector, the mayor announced that a significant portions of King Street Station will be permanently rededicated with 15,000 square feet of public arts space and new affordable spaces for small businesses.

In his address to the Council, Mayor Murray noted that “public safety is an area where we have made significant progress, yet still have significant challenges. Even with the progress we have made in the past year, much more needs to be done to address property crime.”

Under the leadership of Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole, crime overall fell 7 percent citywide in 2015, including a 30 percent drop in auto thefts and a 20 percent drop in crime in Southeast Seattle.

To respond to community concerns about property crime, the Seattle Police Department are forming a dedicated team focused on bringing down property crime rates. The department is now using many of the same strategies that have been effective in addressing chronic crime and drug dealing downtown in other neighborhoods in the city. The department will also improve the efficiency of the City’s 911 response system.
The mayor’s complete State of the City remarks as prepared are available at seattle.gov/mayor.

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