Bill Cosby in New Haven

Bill Cosby (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — It was a parade atmosphere when Bill Cosby made his way through the Newhallville neighborhood of New Haven back in 2010. He brought a message to parents, urging them to be more involved in the lives of their children.

“I want you all to understand the value of your children,” Cosby said during his visit. “Your children happen to be helpless. They need you.”

Cosby was invited to speak at Southern Connecticut State University, swarmed by crowds everywhere he went. By then, the comedian and former Cosby Show star had gained a reputation for blaming parents for many of the problems plaguing America’s inner cities.

“To try to get adults to seriously throw off the apathy and recognize that the revolution is in the home,” Cosby said at the time.

Cosby came back to New Haven again in 2011, and again he winded through the neighborhood streets, this time on his way to the Lincoln Bassett School. His signature sense of humor and facial expressions were on full display. Cosby once more delivered a strong message of the importance for education and parental involvement.

“They need to hear something about themselves that says you can make a change,” Cosby said. “You can do it.”

His legacy was sealed as America’s most famous TV dad, a harsh critic of urban minority communities and a strong believer in the power of education. Then Wednesday, he was finally arrested, charged with sexual assault, that allegedly took place long before his trips to New Haven.

Cosby is innocent until proven guilty. He’s due back in court in about two weeks.

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