Culture critic: Cosby seeking new solidarity with blacks

Tomas Mccoy
June 5, 2017

"We're passed this nonsense about the optics and things".

Prosecutors said they removed a black woman on Tuesday because she was a former police detective once accused of falsifying records, not because of her race.

According to census data, African-Americans make up about 13 per cent of the Allegheny County population.

Cosby stopped on his way out of the courthouse to briefly address reporters, thanking the people of Allegheny County and the sheriff's office employees who provided security throughout the proceedings. Cosby is adamant that the act was consensual.

On Tuesday, Cosby's attorney Brian McMonagle complained to Montgomery County Common Pleas Court judge Steven T. O'Neill that where weren't enough minorities on the jury.

Because of intense publicity surrounding the case, the search for a jury was moved from the Philadelphia suburbs to Pittsburgh, nearly 300 miles away, in hopes of finding people who had not already made up their minds about the comedian's guilt or innocence. Another 17 said they can not form an unbiased opinion as to Cosby's guilt or innocence based on the nature of the allegations. Numerous women allege he drugged and sexually assaulted them. Other black jurors were knocked out for "cause", meaning the judge found they could not be impartial or serving would be a hardship. He was replaced by the white woman.

The new selection of about 93 people appears to include eight black women and three black men. Six of the 15 blacks dismissed from the jury pool summoned Monday were tossed based on their initial questionnaires. Others were sent home later because they had relatives who were crime victims, or an ill spouse or no one to watch their dog.

"Could be, could be", Cosby responded when Smerconish asked him if he thought racism played a role in his trial.

With only one black person seated among the first 11 jurors, defense lawyers are accusing prosecutors of keeping blacks off the jury.

Cosby is accused of drugging Andrea Constand at his Elkins Park mansion in 2004 then molesting her while she was incapacitated. She said she went seeking career advice as she considered leaving her job managing the women's basketball team at Temple University.

Constand was 30 and dating a woman at the time, while Cosby was 66 and long married to wife Camille.

More than three-quarters on Wednesday said they had heard of the case, with 45 saying they have already formed an opinion of Cosby's guilt or innocence.

More than 50 women across the country have come forward with allegations against Cosby, but this is the only criminal case against him.

Cosby was arrested December 30, 2015, days before the 12-year statute of limitations on the crimes he's accused of expired. He has pleaded not guilty and remains free on $1 million bail.

The panel that will decide Bill Cosby's fate was finalized Wednesday as lawyers completed a three-day search for 12 jurors and six alternates for the entertainer's upcoming sex-assault trial.

Seven men and five women from Allegheny County will be bused from Pittsburgh to Norristown for what is expected to be a two-week trial, beginning on June 5th.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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