Reading The Pictures is dedicated to the analysis of news photos and media images.
June 19, 2017

The Cosby Verdict and the Face of the Policewoman on the Courthouse Steps

screenshot/NBC video. Scene on courthouse steps following the verdict in the Cosby trial. Bill Cosby’s sexual assault trial ended Saturday with a jury that was deadlocked on all counts. Montgomery County Judge Steven O’Neill declared a mistrial, but the case against the legendary comedian isn’t over after prosecutors said they would retry him. Cosby was accused of drugging and molesting #AndreaConstand at his home in Philadelphia in 2004. It was the only criminal case stemming from dozens of accusations of sexual misconduct — all of which Cosby denies.

Who know. Maybe she wasn’t wasn’t even listening to the statement. Still, I couldn’t help studying her in the background of the post-verdict press encounter on the courthouse steps. (NBC posted the video on its Instagram page.) Whether she was listening or not, this young female officer’s facial expressions say everything about this verdict and the gender gap in America right now.

What the officer’s expressions map to is the extraordinary statement of Cosby’s spokesperson. The audacity is mind blowing — unless, in the age of Trump, Ailes, O’Reilly, the white male GOP congressional caucus and so on, this is just the new normal. As the Instagram passage quotes the video:

“Mr. Cosby’s power is back,” the legendary comedian’s publicist, Andrew Wyatt, declared as Cosby stood behind him. “The jurors, they used their power to speak. So the legacy didn’t go anywhere. It has been restored.”

If the young officer wasn’t directly responding to this blasphemy, her face is still a poignant rejoinder to the astonishing erasure and overreach.

Did I just hear? Power what? Can you seriously believe…? Bite your lip.

Beyond the subordination of women, the screenshots testify that that these are days beyond words.

screenshot/NBC video. Scene on courthouse steps following the verdict in the Cosby trial. Bill Cosby’s sexual assault trial ended Saturday with a jury that was deadlocked on all counts. Montgomery County Judge Steven O’Neill declared a mistrial, but the case against the legendary comedian isn’t over after prosecutors said they would retry him. Cosby was accused of drugging and molesting #AndreaConstand at his home in Philadelphia in 2004. It was the only criminal case stemming from dozens of accusations of sexual misconduct — all of which Cosby denies.
screenshot/NBC video. Scene on courthouse steps following the verdict in the Cosby trial. Bill Cosby’s sexual assault trial ended Saturday with a jury that was deadlocked on all counts. Montgomery County Judge Steven O’Neill declared a mistrial, but the case against the legendary comedian isn’t over after prosecutors said they would retry him. Cosby was accused of drugging and molesting #AndreaConstand at his home in Philadelphia in 2004. It was the only criminal case stemming from dozens of accusations of sexual misconduct — all of which Cosby denies.

(Screenshot: @nbcnews/Instagram. caption: Scene on courthouse steps following the verdict in the Cosby trial. Bill Cosby’s sexual assault trial ended Saturday with a jury that was deadlocked on all counts. Montgomery County Judge Steven O’Neill declared a mistrial, but the case against the legendary comedian isn’t over after prosecutors said they would retry him. Cosby was accused of drugging and molesting #AndreaConstand at his home in Philadelphia in 2004. It was the only criminal case stemming from dozens of accusations of sexual misconduct — all of which Cosby denies.)

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