Return to Transcripts main page


Exclusive Interview With Retired Police Officer Corey Pegues; Ray Rice's Wife Defending Husband on Domestic Violence

Aired September 9, 2014 - 23:00   ET


ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: We read you Janay Rice's statement today, saying, quote, "To make us relive a moment in our lives that we regret every day is a horrible thing."

And there are many women who relate to her nightmare, and they don't understand, or they, I should say they do understand why she doesn't leave.


CAMEROTA: So you'll hear from some of them next. And you may be surprised at what they have to say.

LEMON: It's 11 p.m. on the East Coast. This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.

CAMEROTA: And I'm Alisyn Camerota. The aftermath of the video continues to reverberate with women and men and through the NFL. The moment that Ray Rice hits his fiancee with a knockout punch. Leaving her unconscious on the floor of the elevator.

LEMON: Yes. It is hard to watch. But imagine this happened to you. Would you stay with the man that knocked you out? You may think you know the answer. But Janay Palmer is not the only one who stayed. Tonight, we are going talk abused women who say -- abuse woman who says she understands Janay.

CAMEROTA: That would be fascinating.

Also, the top sports writer who has seen the effects of domestic abuse up close and personal in his own childhood home. Rick Reilly says the NFL blew this from the start. He is here to talk tonight.

LEMON: Plus a story you have got to see to believe, the retired NYPD commander who says before he joined the force he was a crack dealer who tried to murder a fellow dealer. He joins us exclusively tonight.

CAMEROTA: Incredible story.


CAMEROTA: All right, but first, we begin with the Ray Rice saga. It is not a football story. It is a story about the kind of domestic violence that sadly happens in families across this country every day. It is something that our next guest learned at a young age.

Joining us to talk about all this is Rick Reilly, he is a member of the national sports writers and sportscaster hall of fame. Great to have you with us.


CAMEROTA: You learned about domestic violence at a young age, why?

REILLY: Yes. My mom was hit and I saw it. That's why I keep thinking of Ray Rice's daughter. What she has to be going through over and over hearing about it from her friend and -- must be brutal.

LEMON: You are looking at the video.

REILLY: I hope she hasn't.

LEMON: But you have looked at the video? Does it bring it back?

REILLY: It brings it back. And it remind me in a way that it is a cool age. Because now -- I mean, I have been covering the story for 30 years. Star athlete beats his wife. Beats his girlfriend. Remember Lawrence Phillip dragged his what, his girlfriend down the stairs at Nebraska.

If we had video, if we had cell phones, then he would have been caught. What it tells the athlete you, are going to get caught so stop it. Stop it. You are going to get seen.

LEMON: Isn't that -- looking at the video, right? That's what -- why did the video all of the sudden make it real for the league.

REILLY: I don't know. I mean, I have covered so many boxing matches. You see someone laid out like that. I don't know if I have ever seen some one laid out that long you. You know exactly what it was. What did they expect to see. It was a person laid out for 90 second. You know what the punch was. What it was, was I think they thought they could get away with. They thought maybe no one would ever see that videotape. How do you decide two games. It should be two years if it is two games.

CAMEROTA: In your personal experience, what was your childhood life living in a household where there was violence.

REILLY: I just remember my dad played golf. And he had metal spikes. And he would come home late at night. And you would hear the metal spikes. And you knew he was drunk. And I would always try to get between them so he couldn't get to her. And I remember him falling on top of me drunk trying to get to her. It's hard to go back and remember all that.

LEMON: The latest explanation from Roger Goodell, is tell you that initially he got an ambiguous description from Ray Rice. Do you believe that?

REILLY: I belief he got an ambiguous description. But look, we have been around to see these NFL security guys all the time. They're tough. They are New York guys. They are watching FBI guys. They are watching the CIA guys. How can I guy at TMZ, some little person, gets this video and the NFL couldn't?

LEMON: You think he saw it?

REILLY: Well, I can't call him a liar. But I am shocked that the NFL didn't see that video. I am also amazed the Ravens didn't see it. The city of the wire. They can get stuff.

CAMEROTA: And today, the owner of the ravens issued a letter, this afternoon, to all of the stake holders explaining, trying to explain the release, the time line of things. I will read you an excerpt from this letter.

They say, yesterday, morning, September 8th. All of us saw the video from inside the elevator. It is violent. Horrifying. I immediately came to the office and called a meeting with Dick Cass, Ozzie Newsome, John Harbaugh, and Kevin Byrne. The meeting was relatively short. The decision to let Ray Rice go was unanimous. Seeing that video changed everything. We should have seen it earlier. We should have pursued our own investigation more vigorously. We didn't and we were wrong.

REILLY: Again, what did they expect to see? You got a woman -- I mean, just the lack of remorse and contrition he had. Like my wife was like look at him, he is using his foot to push her. He is treating her like it is luggage the wheels have fallen over. That really upset her and I can see that.

CAMEROTA: That is the most, one of the most shocking parts. After she is knocked out cold. He then treats her like a bag of garbage.

REILLY: She is like a 30-pound hefty bag. And wouldn't you go down, if you had done something that stupid. Wouldn't you go what have I done? Are you OK? Wake up. But he looked like a guy that had done it before.

LEMON: OK. So know, you know the fate of Ray Rice now. At least when it comes to the Ravens, and indefinitely from the NFL. What the hell does that mean, right?

But let's talk -- I want to talk about what Sally Jenkins from "the Washington Post" says and about, Roger Goodell. She said that Goodell is an duly vain commissioner and a self serving one with his eye on the further prize he has been, always been obviously that he obfuscates and he evades on tough issues unless they are convenient for him that his convictions are highly selective and so his enforcement has never been more apparent. Do you think he should go?

REILLY: Well, I don't think he is worth the $44 million they paid him this year. If they can prove he saw the video, of course, he should go. I wonder if he should not suspend himself for a month. I think that is not quite fair because in the whole New Orleans, bounty gate thing. He suspended guys for a year including one of the most popular coaches in the league. So she is writing in selective. I'm not sure how much suspending one of the best coaches in the league for a year helped his cause. But he so blew it on this. And if we find him culpable, that he was lying, that he saw this, then he is out.

LEMON: Can I just say one more because you mentioned the $44 million and this is from a former and then NFL players already responding. Here is one on twitter. A retired player, Sage Rosenfeld says, he tweeted this. He said Roger Goodell made $44 million last year to make really difficult decisions. This one was an easy one.

REILLY: He is right. He is right. Two game, that's a slap in the face of the women all over the world.

CAMEROTA: Yes. The Ravens spoke to the media tonight. Some of the players and the coach held this media availability. So let me play for you what the quarterback said about this.


JOE FLACCO, NFL QUARTERBACK, BALTIMORE RAVENS: Obviously, it doesn't paint any good picture of who Ray is as a person, but I played with Ray. This would have been the seventh year. And sometimes good people make bad decision and put themselves in a bad light. And, really my heart goes out to him and his family.


CAMEROTA: People do describe him as a good person who mad hey bad decision. Do we know what he is really like given that video, that we have seen where he treats her as bag of garbage.

REILLY: Well, his father was murdered of one. His stepfather who raised him was killed in a car accident at 12. He lived in a very tough part of New York where he grew up. So I don't know what he is like but he is not all candy and roses.

LEMON: Does he deserve a second chance?

REILLY: I think so. I think if he can prove in a year or two that hey, I understand what I did.

LEMON: Rick Reilly.

CAMEROTA: Thanks so much. Great to talk to you.

REILLY: Thanks.

LEMON: And when we come right back, President Barack Obama on the eve of a special speech to America, his plan to defeat ISIS.

Also, from crack dealer to police officer, the incredible story of a man's 20 year career with the NYPD after starting off in a life of crime.

CAMEROTA: Can't wait to hear that.

LEMON: Yes. That's all coming up next. And the questions people are asking tonight in the whack of the

shocking Ray Rice video. Why do women stay when men abuse them? And can abusers be cured?


CAMEROTA: President Obama will deliver a televised primetime message to the nation less than 24 hours from now. Here's what press secretary Josh Earnest said earlier about the plan to fight ISIS.


JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY: What the president will talk about in the speech tomorrow is what the next phase entails. Generally speaking, at the core of that next phase is understanding and protecting the core national security interests of the United States and protecting the American people.


CAMEROTA: We know the president met with congressional leaders in the oval office this afternoon to brief them on his strategy against ISIS. He says he does not need congressional authorization but wants a show of support from Capitol Hill.

Joining us to discuss all this is lieutenant general Mark Hertling and CNN military analyst and former commanding general, U.S. army, Europe and seventh army. And Paul Cruickshank, CNN terrorism analyst and co- author of "agent storm, my life inside Al Qaeda and the CIA" which will be featured in a CNN documentary airing Tuesday September 16th at 9:00 p.m. So make sure you catch that.

Gentlemen, great to have you.

General, I want to start with you. So the president will address the American public, as we know tomorrow night. And we have a little bit of a preview as to what he plans to stay about how he will fights ISIS when he talks to "Meet the Press" on Sunday. Let me play that for you.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: What this is, is similar to the kind of counterterrorism campaigns that we have been engaging in consistently. Over the last five, six, seven years. And the good news is that because of American leadership we have, I believe, a broad based coalition internationally and regionally to be able to deal with the problem.


CAMEROTA: General, what do we know about the broad based coalition internationally that he says he put together?

LT. GEN. MARK HERTLING (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, the secretary of state has already named some countries that are going to join us in this effort. But that is just the starter. Most of the one that he named were European countries. And having fought in Iraq and partly in Afghanistan, you saw the great majority of our partners in those two countries coming in from NATO and NATO partner nations.

What I think the president now has to d do is expand that recruitment effort and get some of the gulf cooperation nations and the Arab nations on board with this fight. And make it a totally comprehensive approach towards fighting this scourge which is ISIS.

CAMEROTA: Paul, do we have any idea if the Arab states are on board?

PAUL CRUICKSHANK, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: I think many of the Arab states are going to be on board. They see a real big threat from ISIS here. A country for example like Saudi Arabia who is very, very worried about ISIS fighters coming back to Saudi Arabia, launching attacks there. So I think the Saudis will get involved. They probably won't send airplanes, or war planes into Syria or anything like that. But that suddenly did they are going to support this financially and logistically in other ways.

CAMEROTA: General, you heard the president there in the statement that he just made. He said that we are going to continue the same counterterrorism campaign that we have been engaged in for the past, five, six, or seven years. Is that enough to fight ISIS or do we need wrap it up a few notches?

HERTLING: Well, I did hear the president say that. And I think actually what he is probably going to say to the American people, this is going to be a much tougher campaign than we experienced in Iraq and Afghanistan. Certainly, do we have some experience, fighting these kind of individuals and these kinds of organizations. But it is going to be -- so much tougher and much more complex.

And Alysin, what I would suggest is that I hope we hear a little of a nuanced approach by the president to prepare the American people that for those of them saying, hey, we will do this with air strikes or do it quickly. I think he has got to put that, put that message aside. And say this is going to be a very long fight to counter this organization.

CAMEROTA: One of the things, Paul, as you know, the U.S. has done effectively in the past, say five years, target Al Qaeda leadership. So, can we assume that the president is making plans to target al- Baghdadi who is the head of ISIS?

CRUICKSHANK: Well that is the only way you are going to be able to degrade and destroy this group. Take out their leadership, take out their command and control. The United States has not done that yet. They have not gone after the top leadership of ISIS in Syria or Iraq. And one of the reasons is they don't have a good human intelligence network in those countries. They were able to develop that in places like Afghanistan, Pakistan, and, Yemen over the years. But they are yet to have that capability in place in Syria. Eyes and ears on the ground which makes it difficult for them to target these leaders. They're taking elaborate precautions. ISIS' leaders in order to avoid these kinds of U.S. strikes. CAMEROTA: So, general. Sound like that is a blind spot of ours. We

don't know where the leaders are. How are we going to get around that?

HERTLING: I am not sure that is true, Alysin. And I will add to what Paul said because it is a very good point. When I commanded the division task force in northern Iraq, we separated the targeting by layers. The higher echelons went after the leaders, the key leaders of the operational organization as well as their financiers and some of the imams who are giving religious blessings because that is needed under Sharia law.

The troops that strikes would also against at the lower tactical level against what we used to call the pipe swingers. So you would have to have a delineation of responsibility in this kind of a fight. And when you are bringing a multinational coalition together, that is going to be very challenging to do so you have to have the intelligence to after that.

CAMEROTA: Paul, I read in the notes that you said when it came to ISIS, Assad has played his cards brilliantly. What do you mean?

CRUICKSHANK: Well, because he is a credit, the choice for western powers, sort of us or ISIS. In order to go effectively after ISIS, you are going need boots on the ground in Syria. The Obama administration, they want to build up some of these moderate opposition groups. So these groups don't really have any sort of capability to go after ISIS right now. Many of them are not particularly pro-American either.

So quite problematic, working with them. Also, some of them have ties to jihadist groups like Jabhat al-Nusra. So, really, if ISIS is the big thing you are worried about in western national security, terrorist plots in the United States and Europe, a lot of people, in Europe, the foreign policy establishment that saying you have to start cooperating with Assad if you want to degrade and destroy this threat in Syria.

CAMEROTA: But General, haven't we also heard that Assad doesn't like ISIS? ISIS is also a threat to Syria.

HERTLING: Well he has used ISIS to garner favor for himself. And that's been his terrorist threat as well. So he has almost built those up. And I think Paul would agree that has been an interesting dynamic within in Syria. Its counter down Nusra. There are these internal power struggles, not only in Syria but also in Iraq that we have to deal with as well just going after ISIS. And that's what makes this whole thing so complex. There are multiple groups that are challenging and have a jihadist mentality. It is just at different levels.

CAMEROTA: General Hertling, Paul Cruickshank, it could not be more come complicated. Thank you for trying to explain it to us tonight.

So the president has his work cut out for him tomorrow.

LEMON: Yes. We are going to be watching.

CAMEROTA: Yes. So stay with us. Stay with CNN for live coverage of President Obama's address to the nation. That is tomorrow night at 9:00 p.m. eastern. And we will be here right afterwards for analysis and reaction. It is part of a two hour special on CNN TONIGHT and that will be at 10:00 p.m. eastern tomorrow.

LEMON: So right after the president. And just ahead, the retired police officer who says he started out living a life of crime. He tells his incredible story when we come right back.


LEMON: All right, everyone sit down. You really want to talk about and you really want to listen what we are about to talk about. A retired deputy inspector of the New York City police department has dropped a real bombshell. His name is Corey Pegues. And he claims that before he joined the department he was a crack cocaine dealer who once tried to murder a rival and that he was friends with a man who shot and killed a police officer back in 1988. He is here exclusively to tell us his story in his own words. Welcome.


LEMON: What did you think of the introduction?

PEGUES: It was great.

LEMON: Did you agree with it? Because you were, you were, I listened to your interviews. I read about you. You said you were a crack dealer in Queens. What was the live like?

PEGUES: Well, let me say this. I grew up in queens during the late, mid 80s, early 90s. It was, it was rough. It was the crack era. I grew up around murders, rapists.


LEMON: You said you saw the prettiest girls, the smartest guys, getting strung out on crack cocaine and really would do anything to get it.

PEGUES: Anything. It was the way of life back then. When I was 15, 16, 14, 17. It was a way of life. Either you was in the streets or you was in your books.

LEMON: But you chose the street. You added to that because you sold it?

PEGUES: Well, I was in the streets. It was rough. It was the way of life.

LEMON: You said that you had, you had a gun at, what, 14 years old, you were out there selling and you were in the streets at 14?

PEGUES: I was in the streets since I was 13 years old., 13 to about 17. I went into the military at 18 years old.

LEMON: You said you made a lot of money. There is a radio interview that I listened to. I want the viewers to hear a little bit of it.


PEGUES: I remember coming home one day with this big rope chain, 80 penny weight diamond medallion with my name in diamond and my mother crying saying, son, my son is going to get murdered.


LEMON: Did you know what you were doing was wrong then? Clearly you know now?

PEGUES: Absolutely. I knew it was wrong then because my mom used to take us to church. So we knew it was wrong. But I just got caught up in the street. I don't understand. I was very impressionable. You've are talking about a 13, 14, 15 years old. You know, you got these older guys that's pulling these young kids in. And that's what they're doing today. And that's why I want to get my story out there to help some of these young kids. I feel like if they're in a box. They didn't have to make the choice that I made.

LEMON: Can we talk a little bit more about your story. Because you were saying, I think you were -- I think it happened when you were in Brooklyn, right? You were with this girl and one of the guys came in, one of your rivals, I think, and he tried to shoot you or hit you. And you basically -- you were going to murder him. But the gun didn't go off. Let's listen to and then we will talk about it. Same podcast. It's called the combat jack (ph). Let's listen.


PEGUES: I put on a red jacket. I got my nickel plated 25 in my pocket. I go down right to the block 1980 Murdoch. Pull the pistol out in his chest and I pulled the trigger right on his chest. Don't go off. It don't go off.


LEMON: So had it gone off you would have been a murder. And people on there, that are laughing, there is criticism now that you may be, it sound like you are glorifying that lifestyle even as a retired police officer?

PEGUES: Well, let's be clear here. The combat jack (ph) show is a podcast, hip pop radio show. So if you are listening to the show you will hear the vernacular that I am using. I wouldn't use this when I'm talking to Don Lemon. I am saying things such as swag, my mans, this is how we talk in the minority community. So I was just dubbing down to the audience that I was dealing with. You know, I was using hip-hop slang when I was talking at that radio show at that time.

LEMON: In that same pod cast you talk about a notorious cop killer, David McClary, the man who executed rookie police officer Edward Burn. You said, you call him my man, right, this was back in 1998. He was shot at point-blank range while guarding the house of a witness in '88 again. But during the pod cast you talk about knowing him, you said my man, Dave McClary was one of the people that killed him. Were you friend with him?

PEGUES: Well, let's be clear. I think, the first thing I want to say is, I told the 1987, I enlisted in the United States military. February 23rd, 26th. David McClary was, officer Byrnes was murdered by David McClary.

LEMON: You were in the military?

PEGUES: I was in the military for six months.

LEMON: But were you friends with him? Had you been friend with him?

PEGUES: I was friends with killers and drug dealers. In the neighborhood that's what I grew up around.

LEMON: What turned you around? Before I get to that because as a police officer, I mean, this is the worst thing, if you were a cop killer.

PEGUES: But Don, hold on. Because one of the things I must say, and I need to look in this camera and say, so it is heartfelt. I want to apologize to the Eddie Byrnes family if I rehashed or open any wound and make them feel any kind of way. I was pretty much having a conversation on the radio show talking to an interviewer who was asking me, a litany of questions. And one of the questions was, what was one of the things you regret in your police career? And I said one of the things that I had to hide for 20 years was knowing that I knew this cop killer and knowing that it would probably have affected me.

LEMON: Eddie Byrnes is a member of your family as the a police officer.

PEGUES: Yes, he is. So the public also needs to know that in many times I went to the Eddie Byrne memorial. I have shaken his mom's hand, his dad, his brother. I was there with his family at these memorials. Let me separate myself from David McClary.

As young kids we played basketball together. He grew up to be a cop killer that has no bearing on me.

LEMON: OK. Let's move on. Because you talk about, also, that you -- that you didn't get into trouble. But being a drug dealer. At one point you almost did you. Went in front of the judge. You told him you were going into the military. And he said to you, I will give you a second chance if you are going into the military and then you did. What turned things around? Was it that decision to do that?

PEGUES: What turned things around for me was my son was born December 14th 1987. And '86, actually. I turned my life around. I knew it was only two ways you were going to be a hero or street legend. And I don't want to be a street legend because a street legend if you make it to 25. You are either going to be dead or in jail. So I made that decision to try to separate myself from running around in the streets and doing things that I regret. I ask you, Don, do you regret any things when you was young? When you are a teenager?

LEMON: Yes. There are whole lot of things that I think many people regret.

PEGUES: Right. Let's talk about the impeccable life I have lived for the past 21 years as a New York city police officer, rose to the top of the biggest police department in the world. I have accolades, I have commanded some of the most violent precincts in the city of New York. By the way, the first African-American police commander in the 67th precinct since inception of the NYPD.

LEMON: The transition to get there could not have been easy coming from where you have been?

PEGUES: The transition was easy for me. When you look at me, and look at me now, I am community police. All the stuff, the scholars write about going into minority communities and politician, I am that. You can't tell me how to goat into a minority community and police. So it was very simple for me to go into the minority communities and police. And that's one reason why I was handpicked to run the most violent housing developments or what people call projects in Northern Brooklyn. I was handpicked to run the second most violent precinct.

LEMON: And you came from, you know that.

Is that why you think it is important to talk about it when you were on the podcast on the radio show? Is that why it is important for to talk about it, to meet people where they are at their level so that they can hear that?

PEGUES: It is very important. I mean, look what is happening now. Eric Garner case, the Brown case in Ferguson, you know, I have been on many TV shows speaking about those things. When you look at them, not the Monday morning quarterback, the cops, but if I am there, that is a whole different scenario. My question to Eric Garner probably would have been, listen, we are looking you up. And we could do this two different ways. If you could come with us or we bring help here. And when help comes, you know what is going to happen. There is no secret when you get a lot of cops around, the testosterone build up and it goes hey ware. And I know the cop didn't mean to kill him. but that' what happens. When you don't use verbal judo or conflict resolution which the cops are not using today.

LEMON: You talk about your accolades. I think that is well deserved that you should talk about that. But I also want to give you the opportunity to address everything that has been out there. You know this has been a big story in New York City, right? People are calling you the drug dealing, former drug dealing cop. You seen your picture on the cover of the paper and the headlines. Some people are saying you should never have been a police officer.

PEGUES: Well, and you know what I say to those people? I should have never have a second chance in life? Should I have been stuck in the street where most people want you to be where you are on the lower end of totem pole and not given a second chance.

God gave me a second chance, a redemption of my life and I took and ran with it. Let's talk about the 300 Turkeys that I give out on thanksgiving. Let's talk about every Christmas for the last eight years that I have my kids wait until I get back from giving out toys to less privileged. Let's talk about the $3,000 that I helped raise to give campus magnate high school to the football team. And this is all without fanfare. But when you have irresponsible statements coming from the New York City police department. I have the number one villain in New York city now. Really? Let's talk about the, almost 100 cops that is in jail right now.

LEMON: I have got to run. People should not be judged entirely on their past. Because the past is a weight. It's behind you.

PEGUES: And just one last thing. Let's just be very clear, my story is about uplifting these young men and women that feel like they have no hope.

LEMON: If you will give me the opportunity. I want to ask you one last question. I hate to give you short shrift, but it is going to have to be short. You talk about how you use to give your mother money. Your mom died. Do you think she would be proud of you now?

PEGUES: My mom would be very proud of me. She will be very proud. I mean, I am voted most unlikely to succeed coming from where I came from. So for me to go to, United States military, to be a police officer with 21 years. And the only reason I left policing because I got hurt trying to subdue an individual which they're not talking about. I had two major back surgeries and lost a disk in my back, to lose the job I love so much.

LEMON: I have to run. Thank you.

PEGUES: Thanks for having me.

LEMON: Appreciate you coming on.

PEGUES: Appreciate you too.

LEMON: Thank you very much.

Up next, survivors of domestic abuse say they know what Janay Rice is going through. We are going to hear their personal stories and hear what advice they have for her coming up.


CAMEROTA: As you know, Ray Rice's wife Janay did not leave her husband after he knocked her unconscious. And she has been very public about her decision to stay with him and to support him. She is not alone. Thousands of victims of domestic abuse remain with their abusers.

CNN's Kyung Lah has more.


KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It is the tape seen around the world. Now imagine watching it and seeing yourself in that elevator with a familiar attacker, like Cici.

CICI, DOMESTIC VIOLENCE VICTIM: It made me flashback on where I was. I know her pain, you know. I can feel it.

LAH: We are not using CiCi's last name or what shelter we are meeting in because she only recently fled her abuser. She says she has been Janay Palmer.

Watching her go through the press conference.

JANAY PALMER, RAY RICE'S WIFE: I do deeply regret the role I played the incident that night.

CICI: She feels that is her fault. He is about to lose his job, yes. She will be blamed for that. Just maybe if I had just been quiet. Just maybe if I just hadn't have spit on him.

LAH: And today, Palmer's Instagram statement, domestic abuse survivors also see self blame. This is our life. What don't you all get, she writes? Jut know we will continue to grow and show the world what real love is.

For you, what she is doing is perfectly logical?

CICI: Of course it is. Yes. That's what we think. She thinks she can save him. But the main person that need to be saved is her.

TANYA YOUNG WILLIAMS, TV PERSONALITY: I know most women are going to stay. It is very, very hard to leave for a lot of reasons.

Tanya Young Williams knows. She was married to former NBA star Jayson Williams who served time in connection with the fatal shooting of his limo driver. Williams stuck with her husband through the trial. She says she knows what Janay is going through.

WILLIAMS: It is them against the world. And that brings couples together. She is his backbone. He need her. So she is loving her, telling her everything she need to hear so she is going nowhere. She genuinely believes that he loves her and she loves him.

LAH: Just last year, Cici finally left her abuser after four years. And only because he pulled a gun on her and their toddler.

CICI: I know what was next. It was death. It was death. Because I have seen it in his eyes and we know the look. We know what it looks like.

LAH: A breaking point she hopes Janay Palmer will not see and that others realize the power of domestic violence isn't just in the physical abuse but in the mental and emotional chains.

Kyung Lah, CNN. Los Angeles. (END VIDEOTAPE)

CAMEROTA: Joining us, to discuss all this is Katie Ray-Jones, she is the president and CEO of National Domestic Violence Hotline. Judge Judy Harris Klugar, she is executive director of Sanctuary for families, it is a leading service provider and advocate for survivors of domestic violence and sex trafficking and Tony Porter, co-founder of Call to Men, that is a national violence prevention organization. You are all great experts. It is a pleasure to have all of you here tonight to talk about this.

Judge, I want to start with you. You say that it typically takes a woman seven times of being abused to leave. Why is that?

JUDGE JUDY HARRIS KLUGAR, SANCTUARY FOR FAMILIES: There are so many reasons. It can be economic ties to the abuser. It can be traumatic bonding. Children you have in common. And really oftentimes you love the person, you just want the violence to stop. So it's typically what we see with survivors of domestic violence. It is not unusual that it happened in this case as well.

LEMON: You heard the victim in the story saying, you know, they are loving each other right now. He is telling her everything she need to hear. Is there a certain point, is there a certain point, Katie, where all of a sudden reality sets in. What has to happen? What triggers that?

KATIE RAY-JONES, PRESIDENT/CEO, THE NATIONAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HOTLINE: That trigger is different for every woman who is living in a violent relationship. That is he tricky part about domestic violence. Every situation is very unique. And we know that every woman's situation is very different. So what that turning point or that tipping point is for someone looks very different. It can be as the previous segment showed a woman who sees the death in his eyes. It can be a moment where, I worked with a woman in shelter one time. And she said it was her son talking to her in a way that was her husband's word that made her go to shelter. There is the time when she wakes up and there is a gun being held to her head. There is lots of thing that make that the turning point where someone says this is it. I'm definitely leaving this time for good.

CAMEROTA: And of course, Tony, you know that men who are abusers, often say that they will never do it again. They're full of resource. They cry. We just had Robin Gibbons on last hour, who said that Mike Tyson, the famous Boxer, who she says abused her, would cry on her shoulder. He was so contrite and after that you think, of course, they will never do it again.

TONY PORTER, CO-FOUNDER, A CALL TO MEN: Yes. I mean, that happens. Men, you know, we call it various tactics that men use. Men have a host of tactics that they use. Tactics that they use to maintain power and control over women along with various tactics that they use. You know, when the violence is committed to keep here in the relationship. And women love their husband and their men, you know. They want the man back that they married. So, you know, it is very easy at times for men to play to that and get forgiveness. LEMON: So I have to ask you because what stuck out to me, during the

interview, and Tony, and if you guys want to weigh in, Judy or Katie as well. When she said, you know, maybe she should have said, maybe she was thinking, you know, if I hadn't spat on him, right? And everyone kind of look around and saying, what would you do? And I am just asking, what would you do if someone spits on you? How should you handle that? How should a man handle that if a woman spits on him. Because if a man spits on me, I'm going to knock his block off. Obviously, you shouldn't do that with a woman. You he just walk away? What should you do?

PORTER: Well, that is an interesting question, Don. We had questions like that in the past. If a woman hits you, what should you do, you know? And you know, I look at blogs and on social media and I hear all of that. Knock her out. I'm going to hit her back. She deserves that. That's y & z (ph). You know, and I like to ask those same folks that making that statement. If it was your daughter that spilled on a man, if it was your daughter that hit a man, what would you want that man to do? Would you still want him to knock her out? Would you want him to maybe talk to you? Would you want him to walk away. Would you want him to find another way to deal with it than assaulting her. And when you ask folks a question, when you pitch it that way, their tone changes. You know, it really the script really flips on what they would like to see from that man.

KLUGAR: How about walking away, regardless of who spits on you? How about recognizing violence is not a reaction that supposed --?

LEMON: I understand, Judy. But that is a natural reaction, if a man, I'm just being honest, if a man spits on me, I'm going to probably hit him back and we are going to end of in the fight. That's just how it is. It would be great, we can in hindsight, as you know, Monday morning quarterbacking organization, probably walk back. But a natural reaction for someone especially of your own size of your own gender is to fight back?

PORTER: That's a natural response, Don, you just gave an example that is natural, your own size, that your own gender, which means that -- it's not that of an instinctive response. You're weighing some things out as you are making the decision whether or not you are going to hit back. It may seem instinctive but you are going through a filter and making decisions. And in many cases, with men when we talk domestic violence, you know, we live in society where, you know, we still tolerate domestic violence in most of our communities on various levels.

A man knows that if he hits my wife that is a criminal charge. He is going to jail possibly. But if he hits his own wife, he may very well wind of in family court. We lessen the value, you know. We still promote women as property of men in various ways. And so, I think men think before they act. I've don't think we are that instinctive. If a cop spits on me am I going to punch a cop in the mouth. No, I wouldn't think about it.

LEMON: Hold that thought, Tony. Hold that thought. Because coming up, many women stay because they think their men will change. But how realistic is that? Can abusive men be cured? We'll get into that next.


CAMEROTA: There are a host of programs out there, designs to rehabilitate chronic abusers. Do those programs work? And an abusive man learn to change. We are back again with Katie Ray-Jones, Judge Judy Harris Klugar and Tony Porter.

Katie, do these programs like the one that Ray Rice has been sent to, this diversion program where he gets to go to classes instead of go to jail, do these work to change abusers?

RAY-JONES: I believe it is possible for an abusive person to change. I wouldn't be doing this work if I didn't believe change was possible. What I would say, for the program to work, the abusive person has to take responsibility for their actions in their relationship and want to do the work and have a desire to change. That's the critical piece that makes the program successful or unsuccessful.

LEMON: Katie, is it -- like, with addiction, are you always in recovery once that happens?

RAY-JONES: You know it depend -- yes, it fine, thank you.

It really is about this person doing really deep work. I have facilitated battered intervention programs for quite some type. And you see different types of comments made in the programs where you can really tell that someone is really committed to change and taking responsibility. It is an ongoing challenge because often times -- you are undoing many years of either witnessing violence, being exposed to violence, and changing the mental thinking of how they approach relationships and how they act in relationships.

CAMEROTA: Yes. I want to hear that, judge. Because I'm wondering about when it is court ordered it has been in this Ray Rice case what you think the effectiveness is?

KLUGAR: I start by saying that I taker to with the idea of curing or rehabilitation. This is not drug addiction. It is not alcoholism. We had a study in New York that showed that these programs do not reduce recidivism in men who commit acts of domestic violence. These men know very well how to manage their anger. They don't go out and hit their neighbor. They don't hit their boss. They hit their wife or girlfriend. So I think, you know, those programs -- may be effective in terms of some kind of monitoring or punishment. But the goal needs to be that we change as society, and recognize and instill in our children, that violence is not acceptable under any circumstances. So I don't think that the programs are the answer. And I don't think there is a cure. I think we have to change.

CAMEROTA: Tony, what do you think?

PORTER: Yes, I would love to follow up on that. I so agree with the judge. You know, we are talking about the socialization of men. We are talking about how men are taught to act, to behave, to think. We are talking about acknowledging the fact that we still live in a male dominated society. We still follow many of the patriarchal traditions of our society from the beginning of time in some respect. We still, while women are no longer the property of men, we still adhere to the norms, our community still power rated, you know. So domestic violence is really about a choice that a man is making.

LEMON: Can I get a consensus here from you guys? Can a man change? Can someone like Ray Rice change and go on and have --

PORTER: Yes, yes. A man can change. A man can change. What is not changing is a pathology, excuse me, what is changing is his choices and decisions and how he chooses to act. It is not an illness.

LEMON: Judge, go ahead. You were saying?

KLUGAR: I was just saying the program is not what changes a person. It may inform them. Give them some idea of the consequences of their actions, but I agree with Tony. We have instilled a patriarchal society. And until we change that.

And I was thinking to myself. Why would any man, if they are spit on would their reaction to haul off or punch your wife or another woman. That means you feel entitled to do that. So that's what I would like to see come out of this incident. I've think that tape shows that very graphically what happens behind closed doors, every day in this country. And in a way it is time to stop showing the tape because I think it is hurtful to Mrs. Rice. We have all seen it. It has been seen all over the word. Let's take lessons from it and move forward.

CAMEROTA: Yes, she said as much today in her Instagram message. Judge Klugar, Katie Ray-Jones, and Tony Porter, thanks so much for all of your information. It so great to hear your perspective.

RAY-JONES: Thank you.

KLUGAR: Thank you.

PORTER: Thank you.

LEMON: We'll be right back.


LEMON: That is it for us tonight. Thank you so much for watching.