With jurors still inside the Montgomery County courthouse, trying to get past what they said was a 30-hour deadlock on sexual assault charges against Bill Cosby, opposing camps outside the courthouse faced off in an emotional maelstrom.
To Bill Cosby's supporters, word of the jury deadlock was good news. To Cosby's accusers, it was heartbreaking. While the judge ordered jurors to keep trying to reach a unanimous verdict, a few women who have accused the entertainer of sexual assault rushed out of the courtroom together and huddled on a bench, holding hands. One cried.
Outside, the two sides met.
Lili Bernard, one of the accusers, came outside to talk to the Cosby supporters who were chanting "Free Cosby now" and holding signs alleging that the charges against him were racially motivated.
"I'm going to have a conversation with you," Bernard said, as cameramen and onlookers gathered around.
She took the protestors' hands, looked them in the eye, and shouted that Cosby had raped her. And Bernard, who is black, said the case had nothing to do with racism.
"I experienced it firsthand when he drugged me, when he raped me, when he threatened me to silence," she shouted.
Some questioned Bernard and her story — questions similar to those Cosby's defense attorneys presented during the weeklong trial. Why did you wait years to come forward, they ask her? They also appealed for Cosby's age and health: How can you send a blind man to prison?
Bernard told them: "I feared for my life, I feared for my safety, and then I became suicidal."
Around 2 p.m., with the jurors still deliberating, the alleged victim in this case, Andrea Constand, tweeted a video of herself shooting hoops from an office in the courthouse. The video ended with the message: "Always follow through."
Outside, her fellow accusers were persistent. Jewel Allison, the Cosby accuser who broke down in tears upon hearing the jury was deadlocked, also confronted pro-Cosby supporters. She said she has been accused of protecting white women.
"That's all I have to say to you … these white women aren't lying," she said.
She clutched the hand of 27-year-old Zakia Tuck, a black woman from Philadelphia who had a homemade sign that said "Mr. Cosby is innocent. Facts!!!"
"I saw this sign. It hurt me," Allison said.
Allison told the young woman, "You're believing in a fictitious character. … When you see him walk into the courtroom, do you see Cliff Huxtable? Do you see Fat Albert? No. He's just a man."
As the Cosby accusers and supporters mingled, dozens of news crews circled the area. More than a dozen county employees on their lunch breaks gathered across the street to watch.
Then, noise came from around the corner. Attention turned to two drummers walking behind a woman with a bubble machine and a sign that said "Perseverance to all survivors."
Earlier, Cosby's spokesman Andrew Wyatt had hailed the initial note about deadlock as victory and justice for the 79-year-old entertainer.
Gloria Allred, the high-profile attorney representing many of Cosby's accusers, cautioned that the jury's initial stalemate was not the final word.
"There have been cases in which juries were deadlocked … and sometimes they have, on that second go-around, reached a verdict."