Top 5 Live-WURD Wednesday July 15
1. Whoopi Goldberg changes stance on Bill Cosby
“The View” co-host Whoopi Goldberg has been outspoken in her support of comedian Bill Cosby.
On Tuesday, she said on the show that she can no longer say “innocent until proven guilty.”
“If this is to be tried in the court of public opinion, I got to say all of the information that’s out there kind of points to guilt,” she said during a conversation with ABC News legal analyst Dan Abrams.
More than 25 women have publicly accused Cosby of raping or assaulting them over the past 40 years. The comedian has never been criminally charged and has denied wrongdoing.
Goldberg said she had received threats for standing by Cosby. On Tuesday, she invited Abrams to explain the legalities behind the accusations.
“I always thought that rape cases were open-ended,” Goldberg said. “What we have learned is, there’s no recourse for these women except what they’re doing.”
2. Kane says if charged she won’t resign
Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane said Tuesday she will not resign if she is formally charged with leaking secret information to embarrass her political foes.
Kane acknowledged that her attorneys recently met with Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman’s office, which is reviewing whether Kane should face obstruction and other crimes for allegedly leaking grand jury information to a Philadelphia newspaper last year to punish her critics – and then lying about it under oath.
“They were there to cooperate,” Kane said of the meeting. “They were there to make sure that we offer any piece of evidence and any piece of information that we can so that she can make her decision as she sees fit.”
Whatever Ferman decides, Kane said she will remain in office.
“For the past 13 months I have been carrying on, I will handle it and I will continue to do my job,” she said.
3. Lawsuit says Police assaulted, arrested Staten Island woman as revenge for filming Eric Garner video
A Staten Island woman claims she was falsely arrested and assaulted in retaliation for filming the awful final moments of Eric Garner’s life, according to a new lawsuit.
Taisha Allen, 37, said the harrowing incident happened this past February in the Sound Beach section of Staten Island.
“I saw my friend was being stopped by the police after I sent him to the store to get some ingredients to finish dinner,” said Allen, 37.
She said she asked the officers why they stopped her friend, and they went off on her. “Oh, you are that bitch that filmed the Eric Garner video,” Officer Stephen Damico said to Allen, according to the Brooklyn Federal Court lawsuit.
Allen said she ignored the comment, but wondered why he brought up Garner. “Eric was my friend and he had nothing to do with anything,” she said.
4. With city’s jails jammed, Kenney mulls bail reform
As New York City prepares to do away with cash bail for thousands of people charged with nonviolent crimes, Jim Kenney is weighing a bail reform proposal for Philadelphia, part of a broader plan to address the city’s overcrowded prisons if he wins the mayor’s office this fall.
Kenney’s spokeswoman, Lauren Hitt, declined to provide details on what options he is considering. But she said Kenney, who in May won the Democratic nomination for mayor, is looking to reduce the city’s prison population while ending what she called “the epidemic of nonviolent offenders being kept in prison because of their inability to make nominal bails.”
Nationally, broader prison reform has increasingly drawn bipartisan support, as it addresses both humanitarian and fiscal concerns. New Jersey’s legislature passed changes that allow judges, starting in 2017, to release certain inmates without bail before trial.
5. Obama calls nation’s criminal justice system ‘an injustice system’
Noting that the United States has more prisoners in jail than the top 35 European countries combined, President Obama said Tuesday the time has come to repair the nation’s criminal justice system.
Obama, speaking to thousands of NAACP members at the group’s convention in Philadelphia, called for putting an end to harsh court sentences for nonviolent crimes, improving conditions in the nation’s jails, and allowing ex offenders to vote.
He was critical of the mass incarceration of Americans for being disproportionately punitive toward African-Americans and Latinos and not reflective of the nation’s ideals.
“Any system that allows us to turn a blind eye to hopelessness and despair – that’s not a justice system,” Obama told a packed hall at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. “That’s an injustice system.”
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Solomon Jones is an Essence bestselling author and award-winning columnist. He is the creator and editor of Solomonjones.com and morning host on 900 am WURD radio. Click here to learn more about Solomon