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Cosby Mistrial: What Went Wrong?

Thursday, June 22, 2017

By Veronica Mackey

 

When Judge Steven O’Neill declared a mistrial in the Bill Cosby case on June 17, it was a crushing blow for the prosecution, but not surprising in hindsight.  Bottom line is prosecutors failed to convince at least one juror that Cosby was guilty of drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand in his Philadelphia home in 2004.

 

The jury, which consisted of seven men and five women, was deadlocked, and the 79 year-old comedian walked out of court, a free man.  He could have faced up to 10 years behind bars.

 

But it’s far from over, say prosecuting attorneys, who’ve vowed to retry the case, which had jurors deliberating for more than 50 hours.  What exactly happened when the jury was sequestered is unknown. However, there were a few things that most likely caused the case to end with a hung jury. 

 

Constand did not come across as credible enough.  Questions arose about Constand being able to recall what happened while being drugged.  Also under scrutiny was the fact that she took drugs offered by Cosby voluntarily.  Accepting the drugs implied a level of trust and helped support Cosby’s assertion that sex between them was consensual.  

 

Also, the fact that Constand called Cosby more than 50 times after the assault probably hurt her case.   Constand said the calls were part of her work for the women’s basketball team at Temple University, where Cosby was on the board of trustees.

 

Cosby did not testify.  It is common for defendants not to take the stand, especially if the defense believes their client may be a loose cannon or say something incriminating.  It is also a sign that the defense didn’t feel Constand’s testimony was strong enough to sway jurors against them.

 

Only one other woman was allowed to testify.  Attorney Gloria Allred, who represents 33 women accusing Cosby of drugging and/or molesting or raping them, tried to get the judge to hear testimony from at least 13 of them, but was unsuccessful.

 

Too much time had passed. Constand reported the alleged rape a year later.  However, 12 years passed before charges were filed against Cosby because the district attorney declined to take the case due to lack of evidence.  The statue of limitations ran out on most of Cosby’s accusers.  They failed to file charges for various reasons, although they were allegedly attacked decades ago—some as far back as the 70s.

 

Montgomery County D.A. Kevin R. Steele said Constand is onboard and willing to testify again. Round two could render a different outcome if more women are allowed to testify and most jurors believes Constand’s story beyond a reasonable doubt.  

 

Allred plans to bring a civil case against Cosby in California as early as this month. Her client was a minor at the time she was allegedly raped by Cosby.  

 

Judge O’Neill, who pressed jurors to try for a verdict, before they returned hopelessly deadlocked, is likely to want to get a retrial started sooner rather than later.

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Veronica Mackey

 

Three public hearings on Tuesday’s agenda were postponed during the Inglewood City Council meeting.  The first hearing to consider establishing Permit Parking District No. 15, and adding Ivy Avenue (between Beach Avenue and La Brea Avenue); Market Street (between Hazel Street and Beach Avenue); and Edgewood Street (between Beach Avenue and Warren Lane), was tabled until further notice. 

 

The second and third public hearings were postponed until June 27, 2017, at 2:00 p.m. The second hearing will consider modifying Permit Parking District No. 4 by adding 83rd Street, from Victoria Street to Crenshaw Drive to the District. 

 

The third would receive comments on the priorities for community development and housing needs to be included in the Fiscal Year 2017-2018 Consolidated Plan and Annual Action Plan.

 

A hearing was held to consider approval of the Inglewood Housing Authority’s Fiscal Year 2017-2018 Annual Plan for submission to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. A public meeting on the Annual Plan was previously held on May 17 and took place in City Hall.

 

A staff member outlined improvements made to Inglewood’s plan.  They include:

 

•The use of Ipads for quality inspections

•Paperwork that is bar-coded and scanned  

•Bi-annual inspections instead of annual inspections

•Increase from 120 to 180 days for tenants to find suitable housing

•Stricter regulations for repayment agreements

 

A public hearing was set for July 11, 2017, at 2:00 p.m. to consider an ordinance to create Permit Parking District No. 16. 

 

Council members approved an agreement with Olivarez Madruga to provide legal services to the City; a three-year blanket purchase order with I Color; an Agreement with the County of Los Angeles for acceptance of a security grant; payment to California Transmission for transmission repair and rebuilding services; and a cooperative purchase agreement (piggy-back) with Zumar Industries for the purchase of traffic signs and accessories. 

 

Inglewood’s Environmental Services Dept. is holding a document shredding event on Saturday, June 24th from 9am to 1pm. on Grevillea Ave., south of Manchester in front of Inglewood High School.  Shredding services are available and free to Inglewood residents only.  Those dropping off documents, e-waste, clothing and bikes can do so from their cars with the drive through service.

 

During open comments, protestors demanded the release of videos and reports related to the shooting deaths of Kisha Michael and Marquintan Sandlin by Inglewood police over a year ago.

The officers involved are no longer with the department.  But details of the incident have not been released because the case is still under investigation by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

 

Mayor Butts repeated the same message about what the Inglewood City Council can and cannot do in regard to releasing videos and information about the Michael-Sandlin shootings.

 

“We are not authorized, nor will we be releasing anything…” Butts said, and told protestors to direct their demands to the district attorney.

 

“We’re not the D.A.’s office,” said Erick Holly, president of the Inglewood Area Airport Chamber of Commerce.  “This isn’t L.A. County.  You were already told where to go.  Clearly, they don’t want to find out what took place, or they would be down at the County of Los Angeles.”

 

The mayor used the remainder of his time to review accomplishments made under his current administration:

 

“This council has been together since 2013.  (Previously), we were going through the nuts and bolts of trying to survive.”

 

Since Councilmembers Alex Padilla and George Dotson were elected, Inglewood has seen the Forum reopen and become the number one entertainment venue in Southern California, as well as the number two venue in the country, and number 4 venue in the world, according to Butts.  

 

Ground has been broken to build a new world-class NFL stadium, which will eventually house the Rams and Chargers.  A new senior center is under construction, and last week the L.A. Clippers signed an exclusive negotiating agreement with Inglewood to explore the possibility of building a new arena.  Improvements made to Century Blvd. are currently underway.  The city will host the 56th Super Bowl in 2022 and the Olympics opening ceremony if L.A. is successful in its bid for the 2024 Summer Games.

 

The mayor noted these achievements would still be considered remarkable if they occurred within 75 years, but said, “This is all within 10 years.” 

 

“I have never been part of such a great team of people,” he added. 

 

Councilman Dotson announced his “Family Day in the Park,” originally planned for July 15 will now be held on July 30, in partnership with Taste of Inglewood.  “Now, it is going to be bigger and better,” he said.

 

On June 10, Inglewood participated in the annual Relay for Life event, organized by the American Cancer Society.  The walk/run raises money for cancer research.  “We raised $2,500 in the District 2 raffle,” Councilman Padilla said.  “Every dollar is going to Relay for Life.”

 

Councilman Ralph Franklin thanked Padilla for holding the raffle.  “My brother is in District 2,” he said.  “Both of us are cancer survivors and he participated in the raffle and won, so thank you.” 

 

Frank also announced that he recently attended a conference which discussed such topics as upgrading financial systems in City Hall and cyber security.  Regarding the latter, Franklin said.  “There was an element of concern about the ability to use Wifi to control water systems and a number of items.”  

 

The District 2 Community Center has been open for one year.  “If you haven’t been there, I want to invite you to go and see it,” Padilla said.

 

The meeting was closed in memory of 40-plus year resident Rosa Maria Ramirez, who recently passed at age 60.  She leaves behind 2 sons.

 

Congratulations to Inglewood City Manager Artie Fields, who recently became a new dad.

 

 

 

Time to Get Movin’

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a big advocate of physical fitness.  The benefits of exercise cannot be overstated, especially as one gets older. 

 

Exercising is one of those things that often goes under appreciated.  The value may not be apparent until you have an injury, come down with an illness or have to run for your life.  This is what separates the fit from the unfit.  In most cases, the person who has been working out all along will recover quicker from sickness and be able to move faster in an emergency.

 

If you haven’t exercised in a long time, don’t worry.  It’s never too late to start, and everyone can do something regardless of their physical condition.  Today, there are so many low impact options available, from yoga to chair exercises.  If you think you can only get a good work out standing up, think again.  Chair-a-cise routines target both upper and lower body areas, just like traditional exercises.  But it’s far more gentle on your joints.

 

With summer here, it’s a perfect time to get out of the house and start walking.  But don’t just walk, put some thought into how fast and how far you go.  Walking is one of the best things you can do for your body, according to doctors, because it gets your heart rate up, works the whole body and doesn’t put added pressure on your knees.

 

We all know we should work out for better physical health.  But the mental and emotional health benefits that result from exercise are just as important.  The mind and body are connected. What affects one part affects the other.  The natural high you get after a good work out calms your nerves and relieves stress. It helps you deal with challenges more effectively, because the hormones released through exercise puts you in a good mood.

 

A common excuse for not exercising is that it’s boring and takes too long.  Let’s dissect this for a minute.  If you dread exercising, maybe you need to change your mind about it.  Don’t call it exercise, call it “movement.”  Think of Michelle Obama’s fitness campaign.  She didn’t say, “Let’s exercise.”  She said, “Let’s move.”  You can move in a lot of different ways—walk, run, jump, bend, swim, play ball, work in your garden, strenuously clean your house or build something.  The key is to enjoy what you do, then it won’t feel like work.  

 

Find information about the number of calories you can burn doing certain activities.  You might be surprised to learn working out with a Hula Hoop for 10 minutes burns 77 calories.  Trick your mind into believing that you’re not really doing boring exercise, you’re just having fun.  Then, decide to do more of it.  

 

With all the uncertainty about the future of healthcare, committing to physical fitness is more important now than ever.

 

Family, friends, patients and colleagues at Centinela Hospital Medical Center are in mourning from the sudden passing of Dr. Anthony Eugene Reid, affiliated with the Inglewood hospital for more than 30 years.

 

He died on June 6 and was laid to rest on June 16 at Forest Lawn Memorial Park,

 

Church of the Hills, in Hollywood Hills.

 

Born January 19, 1950, and raised in Dayton, Ohio, Dr. Reid was the eldest son of Louise and Eugene Reid. His mother and father established one of only a few African-American owned businesses in the city, E.D. Reid & Sons Asphalt Paving. As a result, his hard-working parents were able to move the family from the inner city to the countryside to operate their business and raise their family.

 

Dr. Reid and his brother attended elementary and high school in Jefferson Township. Dr. Reid was an academic scholar, played trumpet in the high school band, and played football and basketball, but he loved and excelled most in baseball.

 

After high school, Dr. Reid chose the University of Cincinnati for his undergraduate studies. He went on to earn his Bachelors of Science and Doctor of Medicine from the University of Cincinnati.

 

For his internship and residency, he headed to the west coast for the University of Southern California with a cardiology fellowship at UC Irvine. Afterward, he was appointed Assistant Professor of Medicine, Cardiology Division, at UC Irvine and also served as a Visiting Professor of Medicine and Cardiology at USC.

 

In 1985, Dr. Reid started his private practice in clinical cardiology, joining the medical staff of Centinela Hospital Inglewood, Daniel Freeman Hospital Inglewood, and continued a relationship that began earlier with Good Samaritan Hospital. He joined the medical staff of Little Company of Mary Hospital Torrance in 1988. In  2011, Dr. Reid joined Cedars Sinai Hospital Los Angeles.

 

For the past 32 years, his devotion to patient care, ethics, and integrity were impeccable. In addition to patient care, Dr. Reid served in several executive capacities, including Chief of Cardiology at Centinela and Daniel Freeman Hospitals and Director of the Cardiac Cath Lab at Centinela.

 

Dr. Reid’s medical practice and love of sports benefitted many in professional athletics. He provided cardiac consultative care to the Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Kings, and the Senior PGA Golf Tour. 

 

Dr. Reid was Tommy Lasorda’s primary physician and chief cardiologist since the mid-1990s.  He was also the Founder and Executive Director of the Tommy Lasorda Heart Institute.

 

As a highly respected member of several medical society associations, Dr. Reid was co-investigator at Cedars Sinai for the groundbreaking hypertensive barbershop study on improving the control of hypertension in African-American men. He also served as Lead Physician of their African-American Community Outreach Program.

 

He is survived by a loving family—wife Evangeline Reid; daughters Anne, Jennifer, and Christina Reid; son Anthony Eugene Reid, Jr.; and brother Gregory Reid.

 

 

 

Last week’s big announcement that the Los Angeles Clippers are considering a move to Inglewood created a firestorm of media attention.  If successful, the Clippers would be the third professional sports franchise to call Inglewood home within 10 years.  

 

Speculation is spreading like wild fire, and already has residents and business owners thinking how the move would impact their future.   What exactly will a move by the Clippers mean for those who live and work in Inglewood now and in the future? 

 

The first thing to remember is the Clippers still have a 7-year commitment to play at Staples Center.  The Exclusive Negotiating Agreement (ENA) between the City of Inglewood and Los Angeles Clippers signed last week enables the team to pursue development of a state-of-the-art NBA arena.  

 

"It's (ENA) a promise to explore where a relationship will go," Mayor James Butts told Eyewitness News.  By the end of the three-year agreement, construction drawings should be ready.  Butts said he expects the arena to be built within five years. "This, to me, changes the center of gravity in Los Angeles County to Inglewood," he said.

 

The proposed basketball arena would seat between 18,000 to 20,000 fans and would be located between Prairie and Yukon Avenue, south of Century Boulevard. Much of the land is owned by the City of Inglewood.  Some of the parcels have lied vacant and unused for as long as 30 years.  

 

Here are additional facts about the project, based on frequently asked questions, and issued by  the Clippers organization:

 

How much will the Clippers new basketball arena cost?

 

The Los Angeles Clippers and the City of Inglewood have just entered the three-year ENA period. A cost estimate is premature at this time.

 

How would the Los Angeles Clippers’ pay for the arena?

 

The new arena would be 100 percent privately funded and privately capitalized. No public dollars will be used for this project.

 

Why are the Clippers making this decision now? 

 

[The] announcement simply gives the team options for the future. The Los Angeles Clippers current lease with Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) at STAPLES Center expires in 2024, seven years from now. Putting a new project site together, conducting environmental review, obtaining permits and constructing a new arena takes time – approximately six to seven years. 

 

What is the process now that the Inglewood City Council has passed the ENA?

 

The ENA establishes a timeline and framework for the development, analysis and entitlement of the planned basketball facility. The Los Angeles Clippers will propose the specific site boundary, program and building forms of the proposed development. The City of Inglewood will then analyze the various impacts that the proposed development might have on the community, including both environmental review and fiscal impact.

 

Will the Clippers go to the ballot box, like Stan Kroenke did for his football stadium, or will they utilize the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) process to review the project?

 

The Los Angeles Clippers plan to engage in the City’s environmental review process. We estimate that this CEQA review will take approximately two years. It is an open, public and transparent process. 

 

Who is responsible for paying the costs associated with the City of Inglewood’s review?

 

The Los Angeles Clippers will pay all the costs to plan, entitle and develop the proposed facility. Upon signing the ENA, the Los Angeles Clippers paid the City of Inglewood $1.5 million, which will fund the City’s administrative costs. If additional funding is required, the Clippers will provide the necessary resources.

 

How will Inglewood residents and business owners benefit from the basketball arena?

 

The Los Angeles Clippers are committed to working with Inglewood residents and businesses to develop a premier basketball facility that will create a tremendous sense of pride, an economic engine and a source of employment opportunities in Inglewood and the greater Los Angeles community.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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