Return to Transcripts main page


NFL Jonathan Dwyer Arrested on Domestic Violence Charges; House Votes to Arm and Train Syrian Rebels; Darren Wilson Testifies Before Grand Jury; Scotland's Imminent Vote On Independence

Aired September 17, 2014 - 21:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening and thanks for watching this special edition of 360 expanded coverage. We start the hour of breaking of news tonight.

Another NFL player has been arrested for alleged domestic abuse. Jonathan Dwyer, his name, he's a running back for the Arizona Cardinals. That is him there. He is facing two counts of aggravated assaults and other criminal charges.

His alleged victims are an adult female and an 18-month-old child. The charges stemmed from two separate incidents according to police.

A short time ago, the Cardinals released the statements saying they have deactivated Dwyer.

Rachel Nichols, host of CNN's Unguarded joins me now.

So, here it again we have another domestic dispute allegation against the NFL player.

RACHEL NICHOLS, CNN HOST UNGUARDED: Yeah -- I mean, this is really amazing. Jonathan Dwyer is the second-string running back for the Arizona Cardinals but important to the teams, he scored a touchdown this past Sunday, will not be scoring any touchdown this Sunday because the Arizona Cardinals have acted swiftly at least all of these incidents piling up has made an impact because they're the first team to right away deactivated player and take them off the field. And the charges here are just horrifying.

COOPER: What is he accused for doing?

NICHOLS: It's in two separate incidents in July. He is accused of injuring causing a fracture. We don't the details exactly of the 27- year-old woman. And then their 18-month-old child who you mentioned, an aggravated assault count involving that minor which is just -- specially...

COOPER: Not at the same time. A separate -- for doing that.

NICHOLS: This is at 8:00 A.M. one morning and 4:00 P.M. the next day and it's unclear which incident happen and which time. There's a bevy (ph) of charges including preventing her from making a 911 call. There's an incident that a television station down there is reporting where he took her cellphone and dropped it off of the second floor of balcony. I mean, you read some of the stuff and all over again. You just sit there and say, "How could this be happening over and over and over again?"

COOPER: You know, it seems we haven't heard much from Roger Goodell, the NFL Commissioner...

NICHOLS: We didn't hear anything from Roger Goodell in more than a week. I mean, this has been -- this is been something where people have asked for leadership here and they're not really getting and accept in press releases from the NFL offices, we get press releases that they're adding female stuff to their executive ranks. We get press releases about how some of the teams are dealing with this.

Now the commissioners exempt lists which is what Adrian Peterson was placed on, which is what Greg Hardy of the Carolina Panthers have placed down, that needs Roger Goodell's permission to be placed on those lists.

So we know that he was involved in those decisions and for people not familiar with that list and that would be pretty much to everyone because it's really a rare distinction that the NFL seems to be sort of using as cover right now to put some of these people. They don't know what else to do with.

COOPER: Right.

NICHOLS: It basically means that these players get paid while they're being held out of any team activities. And Roger Goodell was involved in that. He has to be but that's all we know. We haven't heard from him and a lot of people would like to.

COOPER: Interesting. Rachel Nichols thanks so much.

Again, from there we got to Iraq and Syria by way of Washington and Tampa, Florida.

Tampa is headquarters to CentCom which today President Obama repeated his commitment not to send American ground forces into combat against ISIS.

In Washington, his word (ph) as yesterday, the Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff said he might have to ask the President for troops. And more today, Secretary of State Kerry came unto a sharp criticism for the administration's message and, from some on the mission itself that it can't help but wonder (ph).

Today, President Obama's former Defense Secretary and George W. Bush's as well, said the President it was painting (ph) himself into a corner.


ROBERT GATES, FORMER DEFENSE SECRETARY: They're not going to be able to be successful against the ISIS strictly from the air or strictly depending on the Iraqi forces or the Peshmerga or the Sunni tribes acting on their own.

So there will be boots on the ground if there's to be any hope of success in the strategy. And I think that by continuing to repeat that, the President in effect traps himself.


COOPER: Well, that's the backdrop.

Chief National Security Correspondent Jim Sciutto joins us now.

So Jim, the White House clearly is trying to make it seem like the President and the Joint Chiefs Chairman Dempsey are basically on the same page but are they?

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, they seem to have settled on the distinction here between a combat mission and being in combat.

They said U.S. troops will not be in a combat mission. They won't be kicking down doors, they won't be taking up firing positions, et cetera and certainly not the numbers that we saw in the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. But they could find themselves in combat a forward deployed as the White House Press Secretary said, Wolf Blitzer earlier today as forward controllers, his close combat advisers.

But, Anderson as you and I know who've reported on, that embedded with soldiers before regardless of your role if you are in combat you are facing danger. And that's something that the administration hasn't been willing to say with clarity.

COOPER: Right. I mean, I actually talk to Josh Earnest in our last hour which we recorded before the program begin and I said to him pointblank, "Look when the bullet start flying and you have people who are forward deployed or whatever you want to call it with Iraqi military units attacking ISIS and bullets are flying, you can't say right now that there is no way. They're not going to get involved in combat. That they're not going to fire it back and get involve in that actual combat."

The President, we heard him say today there are some things only the U.S. can do.

I was curious though, how does he reconcile that with what he said at West Point back in May that basically U.S. can be the world policemen?

SCIUTTO: Well, this is -- and another distinction they're making they say that the U.S. is not being the world's policemen here, just to solve someone else's problems.

They said the President determined that ISIS is a direct threat to U.S. National Security so it is acting to protect you as national security. But its interesting today when you heard the President speak at central command, he spoke with a little bit of bravado saying that there are some things that, you know, when the world is really, you know, finding itself in trouble, who you going to call? He said, it's the U.S. with some pride and they're saying that yeah, there are times when only the U.S. can serve that rule, you know, is that contradictory to what he said at West Point?

You know, in spirit it seems to be in some sense -- but the administration will also make the point that the U.S. is not acting alone here. It's got 30 some other countries that have offered help to the military mission, 40 countries that have offered other kinds of help, money, humanitarian assistance, et cetera but listen, Anderson at the end of the day there's one country leading this operation. It's clearly the U.S.

COOPER: Yeah, no doubt about that. Jim Sciutto, I appreciate it. Thanks.

The question is, "Will this fight over the message about the mission negatively affect the actual mission itself?"

Joining us, Senior Political Commentator and Former Obama White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, also Senior Political Analyst and Adviser of nearly every modern President David Gergen.

Jay, how problematic is it to the President and his top military advisers sending two different messages?

JIM CARNEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, it's never a good thing when you have that kind of apparent conflict between what the President says is his policy, his commander-in-chief on the one hand and then testimony by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs that suggest at least under some hypothetical situation that policy could change or he might recommend the change in policy.

There's not a substantive conflict. Obviously the world is a messy place and you could invasion a situation where we might have to commit ground troops either in Iraq or elsewhere but it not the President's policy. And I -- as commander-in-chief, I think he's made very clear that he will not -- in, you know, send American ground forces into Iraq in a sustained landed invasion that way that we did back in 2003.

COOPER: David -- I mean, it does seem to be, you know, one stumble after another from the White House when it comes to ISIS and their plan to deal with it. How much harder do you think those missteps had made the administration's job here?

DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I think this made a lot harder and if Jay Carney were back there, he'd be very frustrated and say, "Hey guys let's get this straight", because they have had a series of muddled messages.

Should we call this a war or not call it the war? Is it red imminent or not imminent? And now are we going to send troops or not send troops? But what's very clear Anderson, is our growing questions about whether this policy is a workable policy.

To me the bigger story was when Bob Gates, the Former Defense Secretary of President Obama also President Bush has come out the last 36 hours saying, "We can't win this without American combat troops having boots on the ground." That's pretty fundamental.

And, you know, he is saying, "Basically you can't do this in Iraq with the Kurds and with the Iraqi security force is." That should -- and depending on moderates in Syria. Now, that's opened up for pretty strong debate. I think the President still going to -- is got a lot of congressional support.

And I think he's ultimately going to have the country behind him, although he doesn't yet. But it raises questions for the long haul about, is this plan going to work or not.

COOPER: Jay -- you go ahead Jay.

CARNEY: Well, I was just going to say that, you know, you have to sort of piece plywood (ph). Former Secretary Gates meant by that and what is "Win it" mean. Obviously, the President's policy is to use air strikes and to go after ISIS both in Iraq and Syria and to use American advisers to assist Iraqi security forces and Kurdish forces.

Those are the ground troops. Those are the -- and they are fighting for their own country and for their own independence if you will from ISIS. It, you know, we defeated -- the United States ISIS before in it's previous incarnation as al-Qaeda in Iraq -- what, you know, what the statements about the need for American troops on the ground suggested is that the only way to permanently eradicate, you know, that's, you know, extremity ideological force is for U.S. forces to stay permanently in Iraq on the ground.

That certainly not President Obama's policy and I don't think it's a sustainable policy given American public opinion. It's not sustainable financial either at some point.

We can do serious damage to ISIS and we have to be able to rely on -- and Iraqis have to be -- we're able to rely on Iraqi security forces and Kurdish forces.

COOPER: But Jay -- I mean, you say we did this before and we defeated them before that was with more than 100,000 troops on the ground and, you know, being an integral part of the so-called Sunni awakening and that all unraveled once U.S. troops were out of Iraq as you well know better than anybody -- but the Iraqi military -- I mean, they just don't -- no matter how much money we have put in and how much training they have had since the U.S. has been there -- I mean, because of what Nouri al-Maliki did and the generals you put in there. They're incapable of making advances on the battlefield at least in Sunni areas.

CARNEY: Well, I think when you mention al-Maliki I think you mention the real problem. It wasn't the gradual brought down of American forces that caused -- in the end the resurgence of this extremist force. It was the failures, the political failures of Maliki's government.

And it goes right to the question. You know, is it Americas responsibility to essentially occupy a country like Iraq in perpetuity.

COOPER: David, to that point though if it's so serious how come the countries in the region don't viewed it so serious that they are getting -- that they need directly involved? How come the U.S. and anyone...

GERGEN: Well I...

COOPER: ... who seems to see this, as so serious (ph)?

GERGEN: Well, that's a darn good question Anderson. I think what we're finding is, since the President speeches, we're put in the government's coalition. We've got 40 nations but how much they're really willing to step up and do something serious is a big, big question.

There are a lot voices now, serious voices that's been raised about. Yes, we have to take on ISIS but are we doing it in the right way? Are we putting enough forces in there and they, you know, Secretary Gates also went on to say, he didn't agree with the President saying the mission is to degrade and defeat or just destroy. He thinks we're dealing with a long-term problem that there's going to be something like ISIS around for a long, long time just as their remnants around al Qaedan's and still indeed danger remnants.

So that, you're going to hear voice raise about, how are we going to actually prosecute this successfully? There are a lot -- just a lot of big questions here that are coming out Anderson that I think raised pretty fundamental issues.

COOPER: All right. Jay Carney, David Gergen, guys thanks very much.

CARNEY: Thank you.

GERGEN: Thank you.

COOPER: Well, a quick reminder make sure you set your DVR, you can watch 360 whenever you want.

Up next, a crucial vote on Capitol Hill on whether at armed Syrian rebels to help in the fight against ISIS.


COOPER: As we mentioned the top Secretary of State John Kerry spent the day on Capitol Hill making the case for intervention but not too much intervention in the fight against ISIS. He was (inaudible) new ones (ph) about that. He was not so new ones about the threat itself.


JOHN KERRY, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: For a whole philosophy or idea or cult -- whatever you want to call it -- that frankly comes out of the Stone Age.

They're cold-blooded killers marauding across the Middle East, making a mockery of a peaceful religion, and that's precisely why we are building a coalition to try to stop them from denying the women and the girls and the people of Iraq the very future that they yearn for.


COOPER: Well that effort got a boast late today when the House passed legislation to arm and train Syrian rebels. Senate votes tomorrow. Chief Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash joins us now with the latest on that.

So, a victory for the President House if not in his own party, did it played out as expected?

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It really did and that there was no clear sense of how this was going to go down except that this is a very much a divided house and it -- what's fascinating is that it's not divided on traditional terms which is in party lines -- very much the opposite.

There were a lot of people against this and for this who cross the parties and I think what was most interesting is that the majority of the no's Anderson came from the President's fellow Democrats where you usually you get most of the no's coming from Republicans.

COOPER: And what's -- I mean, is it likely to pass on the Senate?

BASH: It is like we had passed in the Senate but, you know, I know you like to keep in modest so let's do that here. The way that the House passed this is actually the way the President asked them. He is making calls all week long to do exactly this.

Pass this -- effectively an amendment to a bill, must-pass bill to fund the government. That is going to be sent down the hall from where I am to the Senate. And what the Senate is going to do, likely tomorrow is to pass the entire thing. So, effectively to pass the bill to fund the government and talked inside of there will be this very important authority that the President is getting to arm and train the Syrian rebels.

So Senators are not going to have to take the vote on that specifically. A lot of Senators are not happy about it but they're doing it.

COOPER: We should also just pointing out that the measure they pass today solely applies to arming and training Syrian rebels, it has nothing to do with air strikes or military action in Iraq.

BASH: That's right. It's incredibly narrow. That's another thing the Congress isn't doing. We expect the Senate to possibly leave for the rest of the time before the election tomorrow. The House is probably going to do that on Friday and they're not going to take up a much broader discussion, a broader debate about the strategy that you've been talking about, you know, during the show when we've been talking about for weeks.

This is a major responsibility for Congress. And everybody here agrees on that but, you know, they're going to go home and worry about their own jobs instead of staying here and debating something that their constituents elected them to do which is their job right now Anderson.

COOPER: Well, I guess that's shouldn't surprise (inaudible). Dana Bash, thanks very much from Capitol Hill.

Tomorrow the House Foreign Affairs Committee, is going to hear from Secretary Kerry and other state department officials about ISIS which obvious have been talk and official often for months now which is not to say the groups for all this bloodlust is necessarily the one that officials worry most about as a treat to Americans here at home that remains al-Qaeda.

Justice Correspondent Pamela Brown reports tonight.


PAMELA BROWN, JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: From the battlefield of Syria and Iraq, to the skies over the U.S. Official say to fight to protect Americans is happening on two major fronts between al-Qaeda and ISIS.

JEH JOHNSON, HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: These groups are in competition with one another for attention, for fundraising, for recruitment.

BROWN: Official say al-Qaeda and its affiliates are still intense on targeting U.S. flights.

MATTHEW OLSEN, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL COUNTERTERORRISM CENTER: Al-Qaeda core continues to support attacking the West and for now remains the recognized leader of the global jihadist movement.

BROWN: Al-Qaeda and the Arabian Peninsula in Yemen is constantly creating easily concealed bombs that could be carried unto a plane according to officials.

OLSEN: Of course during the past five years, Al-Qaeda and Arabian Peninsula sought on three times to take down an airplane on bound to the United States.

BROWN: U.S. officials say they are especially concerned about homegrown violent extremism with hundreds of individuals in the U.S. right now identified this potential lone wolves, vulnerable to the aggressive social media campaign from ISIS urging attacks in America.

OLSEN: It operates the most sophisticated propaganda machine of any terrorist organization. It turns out timely high quality media and it uses social media to secure a widespread following.

BROWN: Officials worry the most about individuals not affiliated with the terror group working under the radar or online to plot and plan attacks.

JAMES COMEY, FBI DIRECTOR: As someone can do it in their pajamas in their basement. And in the way that's very hard for us to spot between the time they emerged from their basement and maybe kill innocent Americans.

BROWN: Tuesday, this Rochester man was indicted on terrorism charges. He pleaded not guilty, but federal authority say he wanted to attack returning U.S. soldiers and recruit people do join ISIS.

So far, the FBI has arrested more than half a dozen Americans allegedly wanting to travel to Syria. And law enforcement forces say there are several opening cases on returning finders. But officials acknowledge it's what they don't know, that worries been the most.

OLSEN: We estimate over a 100 Americans have traveled to Syria to join with extremes groups. Once in Syria it's very difficult to discern what happens there.


COOPER: Pamela Brown joins us now from Washington. So, why do intelligence officials still view al-Qaeda as more of immediate treat to the U.S. than ISIS?

PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, intelligence officials say right now kind of poses the most series immediate treat when it comes to launching an attack on U.S. oil.

Officials are -- especially concern about the AQAP branch in Yemen. Its main focus of attacking the U.S. specifically aviation as we saw on the piece. And Anderson, they're known to have the capabilities, the expertise, and organization to built bombs that may not be detected by airport security, you compare that to ISIS.

Right now, that group is primarily focused on building an Islamic state in Iraq and Syria. It's a group that it said that's have a part with social media branding and of course its ruthlessness, but beyond that Anderson, officials are saying that it doesn't post the same kind of immediate treat that al-Qaeda does.

COOPER: All right, Pamela. Thanks very much for the clarifications. As always, you find that more in the story

Just ahead tonight, a report that's stirring up a lot of question, Darren Wilson the Missouri police officer who killed Michael Brown testified before the grand jury that will decide whether to indict him, what it might mean for the case ahead.


COOPER: In Crime & Punishment, potentially kid's tale (ph) has surfaced by the grand jury that it's investigated in the shooting and death of Michael Brown at Ferguson, Missouri. The St. Louis dispatcher reports that Darren Wilson, the police officer who shot Brown testified for almost four hours yesterday in front of that grand jury.

But we don't know what he said or what he was asked. Investigations taking place behind close doors out of the public eye. The fact that he was there and although (ph) a significant. Joining me now at CNN, Legal Analyst Sunny Hostin and Jeffrey Toobin.

Does it surprise you Sunny that he testified? Does that happen a lot?

SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: It is very rare. It is very unusual. I was very surprise not only to hear that he testified, but that he testified for approximately four hours. I have to tell you Anderson.

The only way the defense attorney would allow a perspective defendant to testify in front of the grand jury. Is if that defense attorney believes that the defendant, in this case up to Officer William -- Wilson sorry, can testify his way out of indictment. And so, obviously they think that he is in a welcoming environment that this prosecution is sort of cop-friendly...

COOPER: Or they feel he has truth on his side?

HOSTIN: You know, it just too unusual. Because even if you feel that you have truth on your side that is something that you save for trial, you generally do not testifying in front of the grand jury.

COOPER: Jeff, you agree with that, I mean obviously this was voluntary.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Absolutely. This is a extremely unusual development. And, you know, I just remember the reason why most or perspective defended choose not to testify in a grand jury. They figure look, this is completely under the control of the prosecutor.

The defense attorney is not present. There is no judge there. You can ask someone anything you want. And if you get indicted and most people who wind up before grand, you know, most targets of grand jury investigations wind up getting indicted. You have no previewed your entire defense for the prosecution.

And if you testify at your trial, you can be impeached with any inconsistencies of your sworn grand jury testimony.

COOPER: So Jeff, do you read into it, was Sunny does, that this is then a friendly environment for him?

TOOBIN: You know, no, not necessarily. I can't picture it. I mean, I think the only reason he must his attorney and he must have decided for him to testify. Is he thinks he can talk his way out of indictment.

Now, why he thinks that? Whether it's because this grand jury is especially sympathetic or because he thinks his story is so compelling that the grand jury will just refuse to issue an indictment. It's going to be some combination of those things. But, you know, I just don't think any -- enough information is public to know why he made this really extraordinary decision.

COOPER: And Sunny, if there is no indictment will this recordings and this transcripts would be release?

HOSTIN: Well, that's the other strange thing. We're hearing that yes, the prosecutor said, if there is no indictment, if there is a no bill. He is prepared to release not only the list of witnesses, but also the transcripts from the proceedings and also the tape recordings of the proceeding. That is highly unusual. It would have a chilling affect on future grand jury witnesses.

The grand jury -- what everyone has to realize is under the law it is a secret proceeding. And that is because you want witnesses to feel comfortable enough to come in front of the government and explain what they saw.

COOPER: That wasn't that the criticism though of the whole grand jury process, that begin with a lot of people said, "Oh look, they're doing this behind close door." Isn't -- by releasing this, there's an effort to kind to appease that?

HOSTIN: Well, it must be an effort to trial to appease. But the bottom line is the grand jury proceedings are always secret. In fact, it's the law.

The other thing that I want to say that's very unusual about this case Anderson is that the prosecutor says, "He is going to put everything in front of the grand jury...

COOPER: Right.

HOSTIN: He says, "Every scrap of paper, every photograph, every bit of physical evidence." That is very unusual. Prosecutors generally go into that grand jury with one witness, you're investigating officer, and you put on your case.

It is bizarre that a prosecutor would do this. And my understanding is that there are two prosecutors handling in front of the grand jury. One has 18 years of experience of black women. Another one a white woman I believe or male has 27 years. Those prosecutors have never handled a case like this in front of the grand jury. I would -- that might bottoms out (ph).

COOPER: So Jeff, that after Wilson is on the record everything he said could potentially set him up for questions by the prosecutor particularly about inconsistencies in the case if this going to trial, right?

TOOBIN: Absolutely. And that is the main reason why defense attorneys keep their clients out of the grand jury. Let me just elaborate a little on one thing Sunny said about this public. It is true that in federal court where we practice, grand jury proceedings are always secret.

Missouri is unusual in that there is a potential for release. But the prosecutor is said, he's going to ask a judge to order the release of this -- if there is no indictment. You know, it's not clear what the judge would do because is so unusual. But it would certainly give us all an explanation or at least fact on which to base -- to learn why...

COOPER: Right.

TOOBIN: ... the grand jury did this.

HOSTIN: And just one quick thing Anderson and Jeff, the bottom line is we also know the fed or investigating this. So, somewhat -- so Officer Wilson get in front of the grand jury, well now the federal government can use that...


HOSTIN: Unbelievable.

COOPER: Sunny, thanks. Jeff Toobin as well.

Coming up, Anderson Peterson since mom speaking now for the first time about her son being charged with felony and child abuse. She says, when you whip those you love it's not about abuse.

That's the next.


COOPER: The mother of Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Paterson says he's a loving father and was only disciplining his son in the same way he was discipline growing up.

Paterson is charged with felony and child abuse for allegedly injuring his four-year-old son while disciplining him. The Houston Chronicle report Paterson's mom says in her day most parents discipline their kids more than they meant too. But they were only trying to prepare them for the real world she said, "When you whip those you love, it's not about abuse, but love. You want to make them understand what they did wrong."

How you feel about that statement may a lot to do with the community in which you will raised. Gary Tuchman spoke with three generations in family in Georgia of him spanking with a switch or a belt seems to be seen as no big deal.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN REPORTER: It's a school night to Kartrena Hall House in Norcross, Georgia that are children are staying up late because we're paying a visit to talk about spanking for what many call them whippings. Also, in the house this evening Kartrena's mother Laura three generations.

KARTRENA HALL, MOTHER: My children are spanked and I will go to the closet and I will use a belt.


KARTRENA HALL: They will get spankings with the belt.

TUCHMAN: And for lesser infracture with their hand and Kanyia is 10- years-old, Joshua (ph) is four. They're both great kids, but...

KARTRENA HALL: In a four-month time span, honestly, she's gotten spanking once.

TUCHMAN: And your son Joshua is four, how often is he does he it?


KARTRENA HALL: Joshua (ph) gets the spanking every single day, I mean to be more serious, I would say is often as needed.

TUCHMAN: Not long ago Joshua spat on his sister.

KARTRENA HALL: I say, son, you will never ever spit on anyone again. You get spanking. This is going to consist of maybe four or five pops on your leg and that's the end of it.

TUCHMAN: With what?

KARTRENA HALL: With the belt.

TUCHMAN: Don't you think that it's possible, the very least possible that they do the same type of kids today if you just yelled at them, took things away maybe go sleep or took their toys away and didn't lay a hand on them.

KARTRENA HALL: Not at all, not at all. First of all, my believe system, I don't -- that's not my belief system, you know, I believe in the bible, I believe in the word of God.

TUCHMAN: Grandmother and mother believe you can not spare the runt (ph).

Single mother Kartrena also belief Former NBA Great Charles Barkley, when CBS' NFL today program on Sunday, he said...

CHARLES BARKLEY, TURNER SPORT ANALYST: I'm from the South. Whipping is -- we do that all the time. Every black parent in South is going to be in jail under those circumstances.

TUCHMAN: A study by a leading researcher at the University of Texas does indicate it's more common for African-American to spank children than it is for other groups. Other studies have similar results.

KARTRENA HALL: I don't know one African-American person that has not done the spanking and that does not spank their children. I know not one.

TUCHMAN: Does it concern you that by teaching them that discipline involves hitting that ultimately day would hit people too.

KARTRENA HALL: Absolutely not, because my children are very intelligent and they understand the chain of command.

TUCHMAN: When Kartrena was a child she was punished plenty too with the small tree brunch also known as a switch. So, you would go outside and tell me what's you were doing?

LAURA HALL, GRANDMOTHER: (Inaudible) cut a little switch.

TUCHMAN: And then, you bring the switch in the house and then what would happen?

LAURA HALL: (Inaudible).

TUCHMAN: Be what?

LAURA HALL: (Inaudible).

KARTRENA HALL: She said, "Pair them leg up."

TUCHMAN: I think that's pretty clear.

KARTRENA HALL: That's southern (ph).

TUCHMAN: So, when you got your leg teared up...

KARTRENA HALL: There you go.

TUCHMAN: Did it hurt?


KANYIA HALL, DAUGHTER: And we got more bunch when I was a younger, but it wasn't that bad but it's jut now -- it's like, I don't need, I barely do thing to get (inaudible) so.

TUCHMAN: So, you feel good about that?


TUCHMAN: In this house, the children are being thought it is part of their culture. That if you're bad, you might get spanked. So, you become good.

KARTRENA HALL: I love them more than I love myself when I think about how much I love them, I automatically start to cry.

TUCHMAN: Garry Tuchman in CNN Norcross, Georgia.


COOPER: And back with us CNN Legal Analyst, the Former Federal Prosecutor Sunny Hostin joining the conversations. Senior political commentator in New York Times Charles Blow and Cultural Critic and Writer, Michaela Angela Davis.

Michaela, its interesting, you know, listening to that mom clearly she loves her kids and she's doing which she feel is the best for them, do you -- and she also said, she doesn't know anybody in African-American community who does not do this, do you believe this is -- corporal punishment is you differently in black culture American as it is in white culture?

MICHAELA ANGELA DAVIS, CULTURAL CRITIC/WRITER: Yeah. And I actually listening to some of it was heartbreaking where we know that most of the America believes in spanking. Whipping is different.

And the normalcy in which we feel like tearing up someone's leg with a weapon is normal is disturbing, I mean -- and the way in which it's casually spoken to or spoken about particularly the message from Paterson's mother that whipping equals love is disturbing, you know, and that's -- to me, that sounds, you know, the master beat you too, that doesn't make it normal, right?

And so, I do think if there are some cultural, historical, institutional things that are very different with African-Americans in the way that we view violent from our parents and from people that we love.

And the normalcy in the south, I don't think that there is any mistake that that's where the slave trade was most active, right? So, in my generation it's kind of taboo, right? For us to -- I don't know. None of my friend beat their children. So I think it's also generational, it's cultural, it's where you grew up and how you grew up, it's education.

COOPER: And Sunny, you were saying, you were never hit...

HOSTIN: Yeah. I'm one of those African-American that has never been spanked and I don't spank either. My father is from Georgia. He was spanked and he brooked that cycle because I think when you know better you do better and so, with his research and his background, and his education he realized that that wasn't the thing to do. And I really hope that this, you know, the incident with Adrian Peterson changes some of the cultural notions of spanking in the African-American community because we now know that the American academy of pediatrician says that spanking is ineffective and we also know that some of the effects of corporal punishment are lower I.Q., depression, spousal abuse, crime, arising crime.

And we now know that adults who would spank his children tend to exhibit more violent behavior.

COOPER: Charles, is this just a cultural different? I mean my dad grew up in Mississippi. You know, he was spanked he spanked me once and never did it again. You know, it was a horrible experience for him and I don't think I particularly like it either. But I mean, do you think -- is there a cultural component and does that matter?

CHARLES BLOW, THE NEW YORK TIMES: I think there're maybe some cultural component and I think it is dangerous to make is seem that it is mostly all African-American. I was looking at data today on child's dream site which is a non-partisan group in D.C. And one of the things that they pointed out was at 94 percent of all parent of three and four years old said they have spanked their child at least once in a last year. This is a broad culture phenomenon.

HOSTIN: It's an American issue. BLOW: It is an American issue. It is age old, issue, it's generational.

COOPER: What's interesting to me though about that mom and again, she seems like a lovely lady, is that -- if you were doing this everyday to your four-year-old child doesn't seem like it's working I mean if the threat of it has diminishing returns and you're doing it every single day, is it the best way?

HOSTIN: It's not. It's ineffective and then, one thing I want to say is its assault. It is a crime and it is shocking to me that here in the United States, you can hit a child, strike a child and not be considered as a crime...

COOPER: But it's not a crime.

HOSTIN: But it's an assault. Like -- it should be a crime.

COOPER: The law does not view it that way. Michaela?

DAVIS: There's blurred line I think between discipline and abuse. And I think that's what this case is bringing to light is to really interrogate what spanking and what is whipping to the point of having laceration and bruises...

COOPER: And that's an important point Michaela which you see the pictures of Adrian Peterson's child, four-year-old child. I mean Charles, when you see that -- to you, is that clearly abuse?

BLOW: Right. This is not so blurry issue...

COOPER: And I'm wondering if the mom in that piece seeing those pictures I mean her mom talked about tearing legs up. I wonder if seeing those pictures she things that's too far.

BLOW: Well, I wish -- I don't know that, the answer to that part of the question however, there's a degree to everything, right? So if you swat a kid's hand away from a hot stove, that's one level of discipline.

Taking a child, removing of hands, striking so hard that you draw blood and leaves scars that last more than days...

COOPER: Putting a leaves on the kid's mouth...

BLOW: Stuffing leaves into the mouth. This is not -- this doesn't seem very blurry to me and, you know, yes. I grew up -- if you grew up in East Texas, I grew up in North Central Western Louisiana. It's very close. We kind of think of it as east Texas in some ways. So I saw a people and on our family there was spanking as well. I never once ever saw anyone with a lesion, any blood, any bruising that lasted, anything.

HOSTIN: But, you know, and I think we can all agree, this is clear child abuse but what striking is Adrian Peterson in his statement says, I am not a child abuser and so I think the question so what turns discipline into abuse should be sort of this zero tolerance policy.

BLOW: Right.

HOSTIN: It should be no spanking at all because people clearly don't know how to draw the lines. They don't know how to...

COOPER: And to discussion we've had before, we'll no doubt have it again. Sunny disagree with -- and say, you know, spanking. There's difference of being spanking and whipping your child obviously.

HOSTIN: I'm in the minority in it.

COOPER: Sunny, thank you, Michaela Angela Davis great to have you on, Charles Blow as well.

Just ahead, it's the eye of a historic vote in Scotland. It's -- I should've say the eve of a historic vote in Scotland as voters will decide whether to break away from the United Kingdom, the latest in what the poll show and the implications of the vote, next.


COOPER: Tomorrow, voters in Scotland will decide on historic referendum on whether they should split from the United Kingdom and it's looking like the vote would be very close indeed. More on the polls at the moment but first if Scotland does vote to break away from the U.K. there's going to be of course, political implications but there're also other practical matters to deal with. Here's John Berman.


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: If we learned one thing from Braveheart it's...

MEL GIBSON, BRAVEHEART STARING: That they may take our lives but they'll never take our freedom.

BERMAN: Because if they do take it Mel Gibson might have added, we will probably vote to get it back in 307 years or so. This may be a classic relationship struggle over, who wears the kilt in this family but if there is a breakup it could be the messiest divorce ever.

What do you do with the flag? The blue part of the Union Jack is Saint Andrew's Cross, that's Scotland. What do you do with the pound? U.K. says they keep that. The oil? Well, that's in Scotland so you know who wants that. The bombs?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So you knew how to stop the nuclear war yet?

BERMAN: They seemed important in the queen. You can bet the U.K. wants the arsenal that resides in Scotland. And what do you do with Wales? Well, that stays in the U.K. but maybe Scotland can visit Wednesday nights in every other weekend. As confusing as the arguments over the stuff might be, the logic behind the arguments might be even more so. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now, both sides of this argument have valid points. The freedom loving airs of the highland tradition and those who enjoy crawling like worms beneath British boots.

BERMAN: Those freedom loving airs of the highland tradition as Groundskeeper Willie calls them say that while they absolutely positively want their independence, they absolutely positively want to keep the queen. Because nothing, I mean nothing says freedom like a monarchy.

And nothing says independence like the United States of America which is why Hillary Clinton told in the BBC...

HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: I would hate to have you lose Scotland.

BERMAN: Because what if United States really know about splitting from the U.K? That never works. In closing, no matter what happens to the flag, the pound, the nukes, or the oil, no matter what happens in the actual vote Scotland will always be part of Great Britain. It will never be part of England, the Irish part of neither. Northern Ireland will still be part of the United Kingdom which may no longer be as united but Elizabeth will be queen of all of it.

So keep calm and carry on. John Berman, CNN, New York.


COOPER: Carry on indeed. I spoke to CNN International Correspondent Max Foster earlier today.


So Max, What do the polls looks like right now?

MAX FOSTER, CNN LONDON-BASED CORRESPONDENT: Well, the polls are neck on neck. It's extraordinary really to think about it Anderson because this is the end of a two-year campaign and so most of our time, the no campaign, anti independence was well ahead by something like 20 points. In the last three or four weeks it's come down to this. The latest poll of polls shows the no campaign of 51 percent and the yes campaign to 49 percent so there's really nothing in it.

What's really interesting here is that despite that two years, something like 10 percent to the voters are still undecided. After all of that time, after hearing all of the arguments, they're going into the polling votes without knowing which way they're going to go.

COOPER: You said that things of intense politically. As an understatement, British Prime David Cameron joked that assassination would be a welcome release, from all the stress.

FOSTER: Well, yeah. He's under a huge amount of pressure. He didn't see this coming the way the polls came so close together. He didn't really think that this yes vote was a possibility. And all the politicians in westerns are having scrambling to try to come up with an alternative and they finally have. The alternative is bringing a lot of power from London to Edinburgh to devolving more power. They're creating more of a federal system like the United States and the U.K.

So that already is historic. (Inaudible) an alternative. The reality is if he wakes up on Friday morning and it's a yes vote, Scotland going independent, his jobs looks very, very vulnerable. He'll be the last prime minister of the U.K. with Scotland.

COOPER: The voting begins in the morning. Do we know what time the results are expected?

FOSTER: Yeah, the first result started coming through about 8:00 P.M. Eastern Time. The final results will come about 2:00 in the morning we think. You do really have to wait until this final result because they include Edinburgh. The big populations at this Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Aberdeen so we'll have to wait until then to get a final result.

And also, there are some unique problems here, some far-flung islands where very few people live. They having to relay on boats to get to the polling boxes back to Edinburgh and in one case, even a helicopter. So there are things that could delay this poll. Were expected to be in the early hours, it's a Friday morning.

COOPER: All right Max. Thanks very much Max Foster.


All right. Just had tonight, (inaudible) welcome visitors to the local news desk, the RidicuList is next stick around.


COOPER: Time now for the RidicuList. Tonight our story begins in Knoxville where surprise guess dropped in on good morning Tennessee. Take a look.

Now, as it turns out is the species, the news bat is not all that rare it's a phenomenon. A couple of years ago one showed up at the Omaha Station KATV, news from staff and animal control chased it around the studio and in the end, trapped it with a box top, the news rooms are filled with unflappable people who expect the unexpected much like Andy Cohen during our Real Housewives reunion.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. He did stay with him and...


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's just a bird you guys.


COOPER: Kennedy, it was just a little bird, pretty small little bird. That wasn't even a bat. Bats are too busy getting the news to watch Real Housewife reunions. Here's one doing fly by live in the Eric CTV. It flew right behind the anchor and passed the weather man and then proceeded to dive bomb journalist in the out of a news room. I think that pretty much settled it, bats they love the news. In fact, there's only one thing that that's like more than current events and that is acoustic guitar music.




Yeah. I mean it's almost like he can jam out with your friends at a campsite in Oregon anymore without some bat coming to bite you in the neck. Which begs the question, what does a bat bite feel like?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was like a cold dog nose. It was cold bat nose or mouth or whatever in it but didn't sting. It wasn't injected with any poisons or anything like that. It's just a cold bite.


COOPER: It's a cold bat nose or mouth or whatever. Doesn't sound really scary. To those of you who have chiroptophobia and also to my fellow journalist, take heart because it's very unlikely that bat is going to sneak up on you. It's another creature you have to worry about.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And grand rapid (ph) celebrating their new title as (inaudible) to the USA in a very appropriate fashion later today and the (inaudible) live in East Town and (inaudible) is coming up. My goodness.


COOPER: And that's what I call interpretive journalism. No matter what happens, you just don't bat an eye on the RidicuList. That's it for us. Thanks for watching. See you again at 11 p.m. Eastern for another edition of 360.