Welcome to what will be a very sunny Tuesday, Philly. The #MeToo era has caused a tectonic shift in many industries, but one thing that hasn't changed is how difficult it can be for victims to report sexual harassment or assault. Today two Comcast staffers explain what they went through at the company's call centers and what they want the cable giant to do about it. Speaking of #MeToo, the jury that convicted Bill Cosby last week has come forward to say the movement did not influence their decision. They've set out to explain their thinking with their first public comments on the case. All that and more below; let's dig in.
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Six women allege that the Comcast call centers where they worked over the last 15 years were ripe with sexual harassment. They say staffers made comments about coworkers' bodies, discussed their sex lives in graphic detail, and touched colleagues inappropriately.
But, as two of the women's stories show, seeking help in human resources or even an anonymous tip line can bring on problems of their own.
Lawyers are once again debating the fate of Mumia Abu-Jamal, now 64, the former Black Panther and sometime radio reporter serving a life sentence for the 1981 shooting death of Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner.
Yesterday the courtroom was packed for the hearing on whether a former state Supreme Court Justice violated Abu-Jamal's constitutional rights when he didn't recuse himself from Abu-Jamal's appeals.
Abu-Jamal wasn't present, but the widow of Officer Faulker, Maureen Faulkner, was. She told reporters, "He's going to be behind bars for the rest of his life, and I will make sure of that."
The jury that convicted Bill Cosby last week issued a statement Monday explaining its guilty verdict, stating "Not once were race or the #metoo movement ever discussed, nor did either factor into our decision, as implied in various media outlets."
One of the jurors said Monday that Cosby's own words were the most damning evidence against him.
Now facing prison time, Cosby likened himself to Nelson Mandela in a new interview and his spokesman compared last week's verdict to a "public lynching."
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