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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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Fighting an Unjust System, The Bail Project Helps People Get Out of Jail and Reunites Families

In addition to posting bail at no cost to the person or their family, The Bail Project works to connect its clients to social services and community resources based on an individual’s identified needs, including substance use treatment, mental health support, stable housing and employment.

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Adrienne Johnson, the regional director for The Bail Project, told NNPA’s Let It Be Known that the organization seeks to accomplish its mission one person at a time.
Adrienne Johnson, the regional director for The Bail Project, told NNPA’s Let It Be Known that the organization seeks to accomplish its mission one person at a time.

Hundreds of thousands of individuals locked up in jails almost daily — many find it challenging to pay bail

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
@StacyBrownMedia

As public support for criminal justice reform continues to build — and as the pandemic raises the stakes higher — advocates remain adamant that it’s more important than ever that the facts are straight, and everyone understands the bigger picture.

“The U.S. doesn’t have one ‘criminal justice system;’ instead, we have thousands of federal, state, local, and tribal systems,” Wendy Sawyer and Peter Wagner found in a study released by the nonprofit Prison Policy Initiative.

Together, these systems hold almost 2 million people in 1,566 state prisons, 102 federal prisons, 2,850 local jails, 1,510 juvenile correctional facilities, 186 immigration detention facilities, and 82 Indian country jails, as well as in military prisons, civil commitment centers, state psychiatric hospitals, and prisons in the U.S. territories,” the study authors said in a press release.

With hundreds of thousands of individuals locked up in jails almost daily, many find it challenging to pay bail.

Recognizing America’s ongoing mass incarceration problem and the difficulties families have in bailing out their loved ones, a new organization began in 2018 to offer some relief.

The Bail Project, a nationwide charitable fund for pretrial defendants, started with a vision of combating mass incarceration by disrupting the money bail system.

Adrienne Johnson, the regional director for The Bail Project, told NNPA’s Let It Be Known that the organization seeks to accomplish its mission one person at a time.

“We have a mission of doing exactly what we hope our criminal system would do: protect the presumption of innocence, reunite families, and challenge a system that we know can criminalize poverty,” Johnson stated.

“Our mission is to end cash bail and create a more just, equitable, and humane pretrial system,” she insisted.

Johnson said The Bronx Freedom Fund, at the time a new revolving bail fund that launched in New York, planted the seed for The Bail Project more than a decade ago.

“Because bail is returned at the end of a case, we can build a sustainable revolving fund where philanthropic dollars can be used several times per year, maximizing the impact of every contribution,” Johnson stated.

In addition to posting bail at no cost to the person or their family, The Bail Project works to connect its clients to social services and community resources based on an individual’s identified needs, including substance use treatment, mental health support, stable housing and employment.

Johnson noted that officials created cash bail to incentivize people to return to court.

Instead, she said, judges routinely set cash bail well beyond most people’s ability to afford it, resulting in thousands of legally innocent people incarcerated while they await court dates.

According to The Bail Project, Black Americans are disproportionately impacted by cash bail, and of all Black Americans in jail in the U.S., nearly half are from southern prisons.

“There is no way to do the work of advancing pretrial reform without addressing the harmful effects of cash bail in the South,” said Robin Steinberg, Founder, and CEO of The Bail Project.

“Cash bail fuels racial and economic disparities in our legal system, and we look forward to supporting the community in Greenville as we work to eliminate cash bail and put ourselves out of business.”

Since its launch, The Bail Project has stationed teams in more than 25 cities, posting bail for more than 18,000 people nationwide.

Johnson said the organization uses its national revolving bail fund, powered by individual donations, to pay bail.

The Bail Project has spent over $47 million on bail.

“When we post bail for a person, we post the full cash amount at court,” Johnson stated.

“Upon resolution of the case, the money returns to whoever posted. So, if I posted $5,000 to bail someone out, we then help the person get back to court and resolve the case,” she continued.

“The money then comes back to us, and we can use that money to help someone else. So, we recycle that.”

Johnson said eliminating cash bail and the need for bail funds remains the goal.

“It’s the just thing to do. It restores the presumption of innocence, and it restores families,” Johnson asserted.

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PRESS ROOM: EPA Administrator Regan to Join Leaders of Civil Rights, Environmental Justice Movement for Significant Announcement in Warren County, North Carolina

NNPA NEWSWIRE — U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael S. Regan will be joined by significant figures from the civil rights and environmental justice movements, including Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr., president and CEO of the National Newspaper Publishers Association and other participants from the original Warren County protests for the event.
The post PRESS ROOM: EPA Administrator Regan to Join Leaders of Civil Rights, Environmental Justice Movement for Significant Announcement in Warren County, North Carolina first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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Administrator to honor legacy of environmental justice and civil rights at event in Warren County, site of protests that launched the movement 40 years ago

WASHINGTON (September 22, 2022) – On Saturday, September 24, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael S. Regan will travel to Warren County, North Carolina to deliver remarks on EPA’s environmental justice and civil rights priorities and the progress we’ve achieved since the first protest and march that launched the movement 40 years ago this week. Administrator Regan will make a significant announcement on President Biden’s commitment to elevate environmental justice and civil rights enforcement at EPA and across the federal government and ensure the work to support our most vulnerable communities continues for years to come.

Administrator Regan will be joined by significant figures from the civil rights and environmental justice movements, including participants from the original Warren County protests for the event.

Who:
EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan
Congressman G. K. Butterfield (NC-01)
Environmental Justice and Civil Rights Leaders
Warren County residents and community leaders
Additional stakeholders

What: Remarks on EPA environmental justice and civil rights priorities and honoring the legacy of the environmental justice and civil rights movement
When: Saturday, September 24, 2022,
Doors Open: 11:30 AM ET
Program: 12:45 PM ET
;
Where: Warren County Courthouse
109 S Main Street
Warrenton, NC 27589
Livestream: A livestream of this event will be available at epa.gov/live.

The post PRESS ROOM: EPA Administrator Regan to Join Leaders of Civil Rights, Environmental Justice Movement for Significant Announcement in Warren County, North Carolina first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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September 26 | Governance at the Local Level | The Conversation with Al McFarlane

Join Al McFarlane (Host), Brenda Lyle-Gray (Co-Host) and Special Guest Co-Host Diana Hawkins, Executive Director for …
The post September 26 | Governance at the Local Level | The Conversation with Al McFarlane first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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Join Al McFarlane (Host), Brenda Lyle-Gray (Co-Host) and Special Guest Co-Host Diana Hawkins, Executive Director for …

The post September 26 | Governance at the Local Level | The Conversation with Al McFarlane first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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