05 25 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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Portland Copwatch on Tuesday published their most recent count of Oregon law enforcement “use of force” incidents across the state, updating a spreadsheet of data they started compiling two years ago.

The nonprofit watchdog group released its newest numbers this week along with an open letter to Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, urging her to compile such a list as was intended by passage of state legislation in 2007.

“Another year has passed and there were at least 25 more incidents, which we've integrated into our database, along with 5 incidents from 2013-2014 we discovered in the interim,” the letter says. “Below we have done analysis of the 141 incidents, which include 79 deaths that should be part of the AG's report.

“We believe with all the attention on a recent shooting in Oregon, now would be a good time for the AG to publish these numbers,” Copwatch says in their letter to Rosenblum.

The group referred to the shooting of LaVoy Finicum in Burns, Oregon last month, which is still under investigation.

In that case state officials are so worried about disclosing the name of the officer who killed Finicum, state legislators tried to pass a law allowing non-disclosure of the names of law enforcement officers involved in deadly force incidents.

In cooperation with Portland Copwatch, The Skanner has created an interactive map of their report, List of Law Enforcement Deadly Force Incidents in Oregon 2010-2015.

Researchers at the nonprofit compile information about deadly force incidents in Oregon using press reports and public documents on use of force incidents by any law enforcement jurisdiction anywhere in Oregon.

The Skanner is awaiting comment from the attorney general’s office about the new data.

As reported in The Skanner two years ago, Copwatch started gathering the data in response to concerns that Senate Bill 111 was not being upheld despite being passed into law in 2010.

As it happens, many lawmakers around Oregon had thought the Oregon State Department of Justice was compiling the statistics after a law was passed requiring it.

Portland Copwatch sent a public letter to Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum in 2014, offering detailed statistics gathered through a review of press reports and asking the attorney general whether her department was compiling them as Senate Bill 111 required.

An examination by The Skanner at the time revealed current state officials were unaware of the law’s provisions and were turning the statistics over to the department of data and statistics to be included in counts of all causes of death statewide.

Former state lawmakers who had passed the law expressed surprise that it was not being enforced for its intended purpose –  use in creating law enforcement policy.

Back then, The Skanner first put the group’s data about police use of force incidents together with location points for the incidents. Then we plotted them on a map.

Now we have updated that map with their most recent data, which we have independently verified and again posted to an interactive Google page.

Some of Portland Copwatch’s key 2016 findings include:

 

Total Incidents:

  • 141 incidents involving 142 civilians
  • 131 shootings, 70 ending in death (53 percent)
  • 6 Taser-related deaths
  • 2 deaths in custody
  • 2 vehicles as deadly force, 1 ending in death

 

Race:

The data shows 6 of the 29 Portland shootings/deaths were of African Americans, accounting for 21 percent of victims “in a city that is 6 percent black.” Also, “At least 8 of the 142 suspects were African Americans, or 6 percent in a state which is 2 percent black.”

 

Veterans:

At least eight victims were primarily identified as military veterans in some kind of psychological crisis. “We are still unable to track how many of the suspects were in crisis,” the report says.

 

Indictments:

Only one law enforcement figure in the state, Portland Officer Dane Reister, has so far been indicted, and he committed suicide afterwards last May.

 

Read more about Portland Copwatch at Portlandcopwatch.org

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