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Prosecutors Emails Show Race and Politics Motivated Case Against Bill Cosby

NNPA NEWSWIRE — Cosby’s Appellate Attorney Jennifer Bonjean told NNPA Newswire that Cosby’s fight for justice isn’t over. “Not even close. Even as we move through the Superior Court, Mr. Cosby has rights under the Post-Conviction Relief Act, and this is precisely the type of material that’s outside of the record that may be relevant to a claim that Mr. Cosby’s Constitutional Rights were violated,” Bonjean stated.

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After a Right-to-Know battle with Montgomery County officials, Philadelphia area student journalism centered outlet, YC News, also reported that they obtained emails that show inappropriate conduct on the part of prosecutors. (Photo: Pool Photo)

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Correspondent
@StacyBrownMedia

Disturbing emails that revealed the prosecution of Bill Cosby was a politically motivated, and unethical witch hunt could play a key role in Cosby’s attempt to clear his name.

The emails prompted responses from Cosby, his longtime publicist Andrew Wyatt, and Appellate Attorney Jennifer Bonjean.

“If the media is interested in the truth and facts, they won’t ignore this scheme led by Kevin Steele to destroy me and my family,” Cosby stated through Wyatt from the maximum-security SCI-Phoenix in Collegeville, Penn.

The two outlets, celebrity gossip site TMZ and the small Philadelphia area student journalism centered outlet YC News (which first reported the stories), show mainstream media’s refusal to fully inform the public about the Cosby case.

“The prosecutors’ behavior is filled with racist hatred, political corruption, and homophobic slurs.” Cosby stated.

“I’m told by Wyatt that these sick people in the District Attorney’s office called someone a fairy, which cements their hatred for Blacks and the LGBTQ community. I expect the Superior Court to grant me a new trial regarding Email-gate.”

Bonjean told NNPA Newswire that Cosby’s fight for justice isn’t over.

“Not even close. Even as we move through the Superior Court, Mr. Cosby has rights under the Post-Conviction Relief Act, and this is precisely the type of material that’s outside of the record that may be relevant to a claim that Mr. Cosby’s Constitutional Rights were violated,” Bonjean stated.

“This provides another vehicle in which to attack things if we do strikeout in the Superior Court.”

The bombshell emails include comments made by Deputy District Attorney Thomas McGoldrick and Assistant District Attorney Stewart Ryan.

The men suggest that Cosby’s accusers should attack Cosby with knives.

Ryan responded to an article link sent by Deputy District Attorney Thomas McGoldrick about NBC’s “Dateline,” airing a joint interview with Cosby’s alleged victims.

“Interview him with small, very sharp knives,” McGoldrick wrote.

“They should do it ‘To Catch a Predator’ style,'” Ryan wrote in response to the email. “Then allow the 27 victims to interview him.”

At the very least, the emails once again prove that Cosby and African Americans, in general, do not benefit from their Constitutional right to presumption of innocence in the criminal justice system.

“District Attorneys are elected officials who have a duty to all of the people in whatever jurisdiction they are in,” Bonjean stated.

“And, that means even the people who are accused of a crime. They have a duty to everyone. This gives you pause when you see this type of behavior – even with it happening behind the scenes,” she stated.

A spokesperson for the Montgomery County D.A.’s office told TMZ, which first reported the emails, “This was an ill-advised attempt at humor related to stories in the news at the time. No communications impacted the administration of justice in the investigation and prosecution of Mr. Cosby.”

However, Ryan and another assistant district attorney, Kristen Feden, both openly made racist remarks during jury selection of Cosby’s 2018 trial.

When Cosby’s lawyers alleged that prosecutors were trying to keep African Americans off the jury, Feden remarked that the defense had its token juror.

“They already have their one,” Feden stated in court.

Ryan, over objections by Cosby’s lawyers, said in court: “I’m tired of this Black sh.t.”

After a Right-to-Know battle with Montgomery County officials, YC News also reported that they obtained emails that show inappropriate conduct on the part of prosecutors.

The outlet reported that Steele was pressured to have Cosby arrested before and immediately following Steele’s election.

Immediately after Steele won a hotly-contested election on November 4, 2015, McGoldrick – who worked in the prosecutor’s office – was advised by relatives via email: “First order of business – lock-up that creep Bill Cosby.”

“Good news. With 94.35 percent of the vote in, Kevin [Steele] leads 83,582 to 67,442,” McGoldrick responded. “I still have my job!”

Steele, whose campaign platform included prosecuting Cosby, was elected Montgomery County District Attorney later that night. Immediately, he was pressured to go after Cosby.

“[Former Attorney General Kathleen] Kane and Cosby are key topics,” Montgomery County Deputy Chief Detective Mark Bernstiel wrote in an email to others involved in the Steele campaign.

What’s more, then-District Attorney, Risa Ferman, was one of several to remind Steele that “Bill Cosby’s fate hinge[d] on a small-town election.”

Ferman sent an email to Steele on November 2, 2015.

The email contained an article in Rolling Stone that several others circulated – the article was headlined: “Bill Cosby’s Fate Could Hinge On A Small Town Election.”

Several individuals reminded Steele and other soon-to-be critical figures in the Cosby prosecution to prepare to prosecute the comedian “if – and only if” – Steele won the nomination.

According to the emails, those closest to Steele said the “Cosby card” was a great idea.

“I am so proud and happy that you won the election,” an individual told Steele in an email. “Some media were saying that playing the Cosby card was not a good idea, but I think it worked well, and I’m glad you toughened up a little bit.”

Cosby was convicted in 2018 of aggravated indecent assault after the trial judge reversed himself by allowing five other alleged victims to testify against Cosby.

Most of the women to accuse Cosby were clients of attorneys Gloria Allred and Lisa Bloom, whose ethics were recently called their into question by the New York Times.

Allred is Bloom’s mother.

In a new book about the Harvey Weinstein scandal by Times journalists Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, Bloom said she “could discredit his accusers and make [Weinstein] a hero.”

The Times published an alleged memo from Bloom with an action plan to bolster Weinstein’s image. Bloom’s strategy allegedly included placing articles with favorable news outlets to discredit Weinstein accuser Rose McGowan.

She also said she could suppress negative stories that appear in a Google search.

“I feel equipped to help you against the Roses of the world, because I have represented so many of them,” Bloom allegedly wrote.

“As I’ve been saying for over five years, this has been a political scheme orchestrated by Gloria Allred, Kevin Steele, and Judge Steven T. O’Neill to destroy Mr. Cosby and his legacy,” Andrew Wyatt, Cosby’s longtime spokesman, wrote in an email to NNPA Newswire.

“These egregious characters are cut from the same cloth as the man residing in the White House – racist, white elitists who have acknowledged in their actual email transmissions that they have a deep-rooted hatred for Mr. Cosby. Kevin Steele, Stu Ryan, Thomas McGoldrick, and Jesse King all should be rounded up, investigated by the FBI and charged for abusing their power,” Wyatt wrote.

He continued:

“Most importantly, they should be charged for filing false charges against Mr. Cosby, who always believed that white racists politically motivated his conviction in the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office.

“Mr. Cosby feels that if the Superior Court is truly fair and impartial, they will grant him a new trial in lieu of this newly found evidence called Email-gate.”

Bonjean said prosecutors are supposed to be looking for the truth.

“They are not supposed to be advancing the political agenda. I understand it’s a political position, but that’s not supposed to be your motivation,” Bonjean stated.

“Prosecutors are supposed to be seeking truth by the rules of professional responsibility. So, when you see these types of things, it makes you question whether they are seeking the truth or do they have an agenda that they’re going to advance regardless of what the truth is.”

She continued:

“This is a concern, but also a concern is that when you see this win-at-all-cost attitude that this agency had so much so that they were literally designing a campaign around the idea of convicted a single person. When you see this win-at-all-cost attitude, that’s where miscarriages of justice happen. And so it should give us defense attorneys real pause because we should be thinking about what else is out there.

“I certainly would like to know because prosecutors have so much power, and they have the ability to do good. This behavior puts people at risk. This type of unethical behavior can undermine the fairness of the process. I am hoping that we will have the opportunity to see what else is out there. And it makes me think that we should be exploring these other possibilities because the win-at-all-costs is a red flag for us that we should be investigating.”

The emails also “show a common scheme led by [District Attorney] Kevin Steele and his cohorts in order to create scandal against Mr. Cosby so that they could fabricate a motive to bring sexual assault charges against Mr. Cosby,” stated Wyatt.

“We now have substantial proof that our suspicions regarding this false conviction against Mr. Cosby, Wyatt wrote. “Thus, you will notice that these emails were disseminated amongst various assistant district attorneys within Montgomery County; several months before any charges were filed against Mr. Cosby.”

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U.S. Business Leaders Step Up to Fight Inequities in the South

Even as the pandemic has laid bare societal inequities that have long eroded the foundation of our democracy, political leaders in Washington and in state capitols are mired in a level of rancor and partisanship not seen since the ideological struggles over the Vietnam War. 

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Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr./ NNPA Newswire

Even as the pandemic has laid bare societal inequities that have long eroded the foundation of our democracy, political leaders in Washington and in state capitols are mired in a level of rancor and partisanship not seen since the ideological struggles over the Vietnam War. 

This toxic atmosphere has left them incapable of addressing pressing, yet ingrained issues like the racial wealth gap, the digital divide, and vast inequalities in everything from health care to home ownership.

With COVID-19 still an omnipresent concern and the country’s recovery still very much in jeopardy, individuals, families, and communities – particularly communities of color throughout the South – are struggling to deal with issues that have only been exacerbated by the pandemic.

From impediments to wealth creation opportunities and a dearth of education and workforce development to a lack of access to reliable broadband, substandard housing, and inadequate political representation, communities of color have suffered an outsized toll during the ongoing public health crisis.

Yet political leaders can’t even agree on basic facts that would allow the nation to implement a coherent national strategy for combatting a pandemic that appears to be entering a new wave amid the rise of the highly contagious Delta variant that is currently ravaging parts of the South.

Against that disillusioning backdrop, there is at least some reason for hope. Moving to fill the vacuum created by the inaction of our political class, a group of business leaders in the technology and investment sectors have embarked on a far-reaching – and perhaps unprecedented – campaign to address the social inequities and systemic racism that has historically plagued our country’s southern communities.

Known as the Southern Communities Initiative (SCI), the campaign was founded by financial technology company PayPal, the investment firm Vista Equity Partners (Vista), and the Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

SCI was formed to work with local elected officials and advocacy groups to tackle the ubiquitous problems of structural racism and inequalities facing communities of color in six communities throughout the South. SCI notes that these areas – Atlanta, Ga., Birmingham, Ala., Charlotte, N.C., Houston, Texas, Memphis, Tenn., and New Orleans, La., – were chosen in part because they are home to around 50% of the country’s Black population and are where some of the greatest disparities exist.

SCI is aiming to drive long-term change, as outlined by PayPal CEO Dan Schulman, Vista CEO Robert F. Smith and BCG CEO Rich Lesser. 

In Atlanta, for example, SCI is working to bridge the wealth gap that exists among the region’s African-American residents. While there is a strong Black business community in the city, and high levels of Black educational achievement thanks to the regional presence of several Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and the voice of the Black press, there is still an extremely low level of Black entrepreneurship and business ownership with only 6% of employer firms being Black-owned.

To remedy this disparity, SCI is working with the Southern Economic Advancement Project to create entrepreneurship hubs and accelerator programs to increase the number of minority-owned businesses. The corporations behind SCI are also using their networks to help other companies work with minority-owned supply companies.

In Alabama, SCI is seeking to bridge the massive digital divide in an urban area where 450,000 households are without connection to the internet. In order to tackle the crisis, SCI is leveraging relationships with local schools and libraries to distribute laptops and service vouchers. Another tact SCI is taking is to partner with the owners of multi-unit buildings in low-income neighborhoods to install free public Wi-Fi for residents.

The lack of access to capital is another reason Black communities throughout the South have been traditionally underbanked. In Memphis, where 47% of Black households are underbanked, SCI is partnering with Grameen America to cover the $2 million per year per branch start-up cost to build brick-and-mortar banks in minority communities.

This alone will provide 20,000 women access to more than $250 million per year in financing.

Beyond these initiatives, SCI is partnering with groups like the Greater Houston Partnership and the Urban League of Louisiana to provide in-kind support to improve job outcomes for minority college students, expand access to home financing through partnerships with community development financial institutions, and harness the power of technology to expand health care access in underserved urban and rural neighborhoods.

The issues facing these communities throughout the South are not new nor will they be fixed overnight.

Fortunately, SCI is taking a long-term approach that is focused on getting to the root of structural racism in the United States and creating a more just and equitable country for every American.

A once-in-a-century pandemic and a social justice movement not seen since the 1960s were not enough to break the malaise and rancorous partisanship in Washington. Fortunately, corporate leaders are stepping up and partnering with local advocates and non-profit groups to fix the problem of systemic injustice in the U.S.

We, therefore, salute and welcome the transformative commitments of the Southern Communities Initiative (SCI). There is no time to delay, because as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. so accurately said, “The time is always right to do what is right.”

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Black Woman to Lead United States Park Police

 Chief Smith’s experience serving in leadership roles in every U.S. Park Police field office has provided her with an unmatched foundation to lead the diverse agency,” said Flynn, who oversees law enforcement programs at USPP.

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Pamela A. Smith

Pamela A. Smith, a 23-year veteran of the United States Park Police, will lead the nation’s oldest federal law enforcement agency.

Smith, who became the first African American woman to lead the 230-year-old agency, immediately remarked that she would establish a body-worn camera program for USPP within 90 days.

The program will initially begin in San Francisco and be implemented across the country by the end of the year, Smith said.

“Body-worn cameras are good for the public and good for our officers, which is why I am prioritizing implementing a body-worn camera program within my first 90 days,” Smith offered in a statement.

 “This is one of the many steps we must take to continue to build trust and credibility with the public we have been entrusted to serve.”

Smith earned a bachelor’s degree in Education from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and graduated from the FBI National Academy. She is a member of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives and the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

During her law enforcement career, the proud Zeta Phi Beta Sorority sister has served as a patrol officer, field training officer, canine handler, and academy instructor at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center.

 According to a news release, Smith also served as executive lieutenant to the chief of police, assistant commander of the San Francisco Field Office, commander of the New York Field Office, acting deputy chief of the Homeland Security Division, and deputy chief for the Field Operations Division.

Smith was the first woman to lead the New York Field Office as its Major.

At the USPP, she will lead a 560-member workforce that protects the public, parks, and the nation’s most iconic landmarks in Wash., D.C., New York City, and San Francisco metropolitan areas.

“Chief Smith’s commitment to policing as public service and her willingness to listen and collaborate make her the right person to lead the U.S. Park Police at this pivotal moment in our country,” Shawn Benge, deputy director exercising the delegated authority of the NPS director, noted in a statement.

 “Over the coming months, the leadership of the National Park Service will explore opportunities with Chief Smith designed to strengthen our organization’s commitment to transparency. Her personal and professional experience make her acutely aware of and ready to meet the challenges and responsibilities that face U.S. Park Police and law enforcement agencies across the nation.”

 Jennifer Flynn, the associate director for Visitor Resource Protection at the National Park Service added that she’s looking forward to Smith’s leadership.

“Chief Smith’s experience serving in leadership roles in every U.S. Park Police field office has provided her with an unmatched foundation to lead the diverse agency,” said Flynn, who oversees law enforcement programs at USPP.

 “As federal law enforcement officers, the U.S. Park Police officers have a new opportunity each day to give their best to the American people. Chief Smith exemplifies that approach as a colleague and mentor, and she will be instrumental in refining and shaping the future of the organization,” Flynn said.

Smith declared that she would lead by example and expects all officers to display integrity.

 “I have dedicated my career to the professionalism of law enforcement, and it is my highest honor and privilege to serve as chief of police,” Chief Smith declared. “Today’s officers face many challenges, and I firmly believe challenges present opportunities. I look forward to leading this exemplary team as we carry out our mission with honesty and integrity.”  

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