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Major And Coordinated Onslaugh Of ISIS Fighters In Anbar Province; Thomas Eric Duncan's Death From Ebola In Dallas; "Weekend Of Resistance" In Missouri; Where Is Kim Jong Un?; Traffic Stop Outrage: Excessive Force?

Aired October 10, 2014 - 20:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening, everyone. Thanks for joining us everyone. We begin with breaking news in the fight ISIS.

Ominous news that there is a major and coordinated onslaught of ISIS fighters on Iraq on Anbar province happening right now. And if Anbar falls that could mean Baghdad is closer and closer in the cross hairs.

Up against the wall is how one senior defense official described the Iraqi forces now battling ISIS. This, of course, despite the continued airstrikes throughout the country, a strategy and even before this latest news was coming under fire because they seem to be having little to no effect so far.

CNN chief national security correspondent Jim Sciutto joins us now with the latest. You have been talking with a lot of U.S. officials. What are they saying about what is going on in Anbar.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, it is a concern, because now you have the defense secretary as well, Chuck Hagel saying that Anbar is in danger. This gels with what I have heard from the U.S. officials throughout the day. One that ISIS is still advancing, that is despite the enormous investment in Iraqi troops on the ground but also U.S. airpower, and that some of the Iraqi units fighting them in danger of being cut off. They are purely a defensive position. And now I'm talking about hitting ground back.

And you know, Anbar really matters. We talked a lot about Kobani. Kobani will pay --

COOPER: Kobani which is in Syria. Anbar is in Iraq, in to the west of Baghdad and traditionally Sunni area.

SCIUTTO: Exactly. And U.S. officials have been are saying listen. Kobani, you know, you are only paying attention to it because you can see it and it is not really strategically important. Anbar is in supposed to Baghdad. You take over Anbar. You put capital in danger.

COOPER: Right. And Anbar is where the focus of the whole Sunni awakening was -- I mean, it is not a huge surprise that ISIS would be doing pretty well. Again, Anbar is predominantly or has been a predominantly a Sunni area. SCIUTTO: Exactly. But it is hugely concerning. And here is where

you have the two ingredients are that everybody says are necessary. You have the U.S. air power, the coalition air power I should say, plus the significant ground presence in Iraqi troops.

But even with that combination, ISIS still advance.

COOPER: And are there U.S. advisers working with Iraqi troops in Anbar?

SCIUTTO: No, they're not. And that is because it is too close to the fight. Those are the restrictions that have been put on.

COOPER: And there has apache helicopters --

SCIUTTO: There have. That is the sign of how concerning they are because apache helicopters, listen, it is not troops on the ground but as you know, they're low flying and --

COOPER: If one gets shot down you have to go over there and rescue the men and women.

SCIUTTO: Exactly. We know that ISIS forces there have the impact (ph). Should fire missiles. And in the last week they have shot down two Iraqi helicopters. And the fact that the U.S. is willing to put those helicopters and dangers shows that they're truly concerned about it.

COOPER: You also now, have the position when you look at the map of ISIS to the north of Baghdad, ISIS to the west of Baghdad, I mean, is Baghdad still not that it is ever safe, but it is still holdable?

SCIUTTO: Well, holdable. And that is the thing. What you hear in Baghdad you do have military advisers with the troops. You don't have them out in Anbar province.

COOPER: Thousands of U.S. personnel with the embassy.

SCIUTTO: Exactly. But with those U.S. military advisers at the brigade level, you got 17 to 12 each there, what they have found is that those Iraqi units around Baghdad are more capable. Plus, you have visibility there because you have U.S. advisers with them. You don't have that visibility in Anbar. That is one of the problems because you're relying on Iraqi reports about what is happening. And that raises question as well.

COOPER: Jim Sciutto, appreciate the update. Thanks.

Tonight, we have news about the Ebola patient who died in Dallas this week and just how sick he was when he first went to the hospital and was actually released. Thomas Eric Duncan, of course, that is his name. He was initially sent home from the hospital with the prescription of antibiotics. And now, we are learning that his fever was as high as 103 during the first trip to the emergency room, according to medical reports.

Ed Lavandera is live in Dallas tonight.

So the medical records, 1400 pages in all, what else have you learned?

ED LAVANDERA, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the fever is really the most significant issue we're dealing with here, Anderson. Hospital officials early on had said that when Thomas Eric Duncan first came to the hospital, three days before he was admitted with full-blown Ebola symptoms, that when he was admitted here that he had a low-grade fever of about 100.1. While Duncan's nephew has shown his hospital paperwork that says that Thomas Duncan, by the time he had left on that initial visit, by the time he had left, he had a fever of 103 temperature. A very significant detail especially when you consider that he had also told them that he had been to Liberia. And these medical experts had been saying for several weeks, Anderson, it is the combination of that information, the fever and his travel history which should have raised red flags.

We have asked the hospital to respond to this and explain what was going on to the 103-degree fever. They issued a statement and didn't talk about the fever and only said that the hospital was still reviewing the diagnosis and what happened early on and that it changed some of the in-take procedures and being able to better identify anyone who might come in with a critical disease like Ebola.

COOPER: Right. I mean, that is the thing. They have changed their story about what exactly they knew about his travels now a couple of times. They now say the information that he come from Liberia was available to all hospital workers, right?

LAVANDERA: Yes. If you want to backtrack here a little bit here, Anderson, they originally said there was an issue with the electronic health record that the information that the nurse had taken in was not taken to the doctor that treated Thomas Duncan. But then, they changed that a day later and said that there were no issues with the electronic health records. So you assume that the nurse and the doctor would have known his travel history and repeated attempts over the past several weeks to kind of get further explanation from the hospital and hospital officials simply are not saying anything at this point. Only saying they're still in the process of reviewing all of this.

And Anderson, we should also mention that state health officials here in Texas say that primary concern right now is being able to follow all the people that Thomas Duncan had got into contact with, make sure no one else develops Ebola symptoms. But they are saying that they are considering a full-scale investigation into what happened here as well.

COOPER: Right. I mean, the most important thing is that, you know, whatever mistakes were made or everybody learned from hospitals around the country learned from Ed Lavandera, thanks.

Joining me now live is Dr. Seema Yasmin, staff writer at "the Dallas Morning News," professor of public health at the University of Texas, Dallas and a former CDC disease detective and Dr. Peter Shearer, medical director for the department of emergency medicine at Mt. Sinai hospital in New York.

Dr. Shearer, thanks for being with us. Let me start with you. So initially, the hospital, I mean, among the many stories that changed, they initially said that the patient basically presented with what they say a low-grade fever, 103 degrees is not a low-grade fever is it?

DR. PETER SHEARER, MEDICAL DIRECTOR FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF EMERGENCY MEDICINE AT MT. SINAI HOSPITAL: Right, certainly not a low-grade fever. And from the reports that we are hearing now, he developed that higher fever of 103 while he was in the emergency department being evaluated. And fever is important, but it is really important in the context of the patient and whole history and what is going on with that specifically.

COOPER: And something like a travel history is something that doctors would normally ask about, or should incorporate when considering a fever?

SHEARER: Sure. I mean, even prior to this whole situation with Ebola. That would be a standard part of an evaluation of a patient. Now, even with the current CDC and world health recommendations, it is absolutely part of what happened any time a patient comes to an emergency department with a complaint of fever or documented fever.

COOPER: Dr. Yasmin, you say the fact that hospital, they didn't have an actual cause for the fever, that that concerning, especially concerning they released him.

DR. SEEMA YASMIN, PROFESSOR OF PUBLIC HEALTH, UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS, DALLAS: Absolutely is concerning. You don't want to discharge a patient with a high fever, Anderson, especially when you don't know the cause of the fever is. What is also really concerning here though, is that we have three contradiction reports of about what happened on Thursday, September 25th. And it is not about ascribing blame here, but learning from these mistakes so the other healthcare facilities can be educated and be prepared for other cases.

And of course, Anderson, the family, absolutely deserve honesty and transparency about what happened in the hospital s they are grieving.

COOPER: And Dr. Shearer, I understand you were at Mt. Sinai hospital when they had an Ebola scare back August. What was the procedure then because --?

SHEARER: Right. It was early days that were already getting advance notice from the CDC. That we should be screening patients who come in with fever or other symptoms that could be Ebola for travel history.

COOPER: So you are getting that information back in August.

SHEARER: We are getting that information. There is really early in is that time that most hospital is starting to put together their protocols. So it is still a bit early. But we picked it up early as soon as the patient presented and then got them in to an isolation room quickly. COOPER: And when you said in to an isolation room, quick, I mean,

most hospitals have procedures in place to isolate patients -- I mean, not just for Ebola, for other infectious disease.

SHEARER: Right. Most hospitals have multiple levels, different types of isolation rooms that could easily handle a patient with Ebola. Possible in there intensive care unit under wards in an emergency rooms.

COOPER: So it shouldn't be completely out of left field for hospitals to the idea of isolating?

SHEARER: Right. It wouldn't be. Most -- if a patient is presenting with a complaint of a fever, you wouldn't necessarily isolate those people, you dig a little bit deeper, ask a question about travel history suspect countries and then you certainly would.



Dr. Yasmin, the fact that the doctor wrote down that he was negative for fever and chills, I mean, obviously, look, the ER is a hectic place, doctors and nurses are dealing with a lot of stuff all at once, but that seems like a pretty big, big mistake.

YASMIN: It is a big mistake, Anderson, and of course human error does occurs. But that is why it is so important that we work as a team in a healthcare settings (ph). So, it is not just one person asking about a travel history or fever, it is multiple. And often times when you walk into a consult in the ED, you fall right back to face the patient. I know somebody (INAUDIBLE) questions before and I'm sorry, you have to repeat them, but these are reasons we do we asked the questions, they are absolutely key.

COOPER: You know, we've had Dr. Redliner from Columbia on live, and he has pointed out how a lot of public health budgets for disaster preparedness have been on the downward swing really since the year after 9/11.

I know in Mount Sinai, you guys today just had a drill. And it is important to continually -- I mean, it is not something you can just drill for once four or five years ago and say you got it covered. You guys just had a drilled today.

SHEARER: We had a drill certainly, and things change. There are emerging diseases that happened. And you are always have to be prepared to adjust and when you have a situation like this, re-educate staff, make sure everyone has been educated. Redo it and then drill and repeat the drills.

COOPER: Do you worry about this? I mean, obviously it is a concern. But I mean, in the list of things you as a doctor have to worry about, is Ebola high up there right now?

SHEARER: It is not high up there for me. My concern is that the staff is well prepared and that they're educated to deal with people and also to manage their own anxiety with the idea they may have to deal with someone with this type of disease.

COOPER: And Dr. Yasmin, you say on August 1st, the CDC sent out an advisor to everyone on the healthcare system about Ebola, and Dr. Shearer, we are just talking about that, back in August. They knew to ask patients about traveling to and from West Africa. They were on high alert back in August.

YASMIN: Absolutely. And Anderson, the travel history is actually very key part that is taking the history from the patients. You should be doing it anyway. That very early in August, CDC just say that in light of this big epidemic in West Africa can everybody in the U.S. who is practicing medicine make sure you ask that question about travel to West Africa and any symptoms of Ebola and then the fever. So they had have healthcare workers on high alert for few months now.

COOPER: A lot of question about this hospital in Dallas, no doubt about it.

Dr. Seema Yasmin, appreciate it. Dr. Peter Shearer, great talking as well. Thank you very much. I know it has been a long day for you. Thanks.

A quick reminder, make sure you set your DVRs so you can watch "360" whenever you want.

Just ahead tonight, the death is the first confirmed fatality in the enterovirus outbreak. But 4-year-old Eli Waller was and as much more than a statistic. You are going to hear from his dad ahead.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He really just his whole thing was making his mom and dad proud. He really was like that puppy dog in that kind of way, you know. He just would look in your eyes and he would asked you, you know, are you proud of me? Yes, I'm proud of you, Eli.



COOPER: Welcome back.

Ebola is not the only virus that has U.S. hospitals on alert. As you no doubt heard, a nasty strain of the enterovirus has sickened hundreds of kids across the America. And tonight, a father whose 4- year-old son died is speaking out.

Eli Waller went to bed two weeks ago and never woke up. Other than a mild case of pink eye, he had been feeling fine according to his parents. He was not wheezing, he wasn't coughing, he showed no signs. They had no idea he contracted the enterovirus. Eli's death is the first confirmed fatality in the outbreak. And his family has started a foundation to honor him. You can check it out at That's one word,

I spoke with Andy Waller, Eli's dad just a short time ago.


COOPER: First all, I am so sorry for your loss. How is the family doing?

ANDY WALLER, 4-YEAR-OLD SON DIED OF ENTEROVIRUS: We're OK. We're really sad and upset. And the girls are kind of dealing with it in their own way. I think they're OK. They miss their little brother. But I'm also really kind of determined and focused on doing something good.

COOPER: You started a foundation. I want to talk to you about that. First, what do you want people to know about Eli? I mean, the pictures of him, he is such a beautiful little boy. And I read what you wrote about him. It was so moving, just, what do you want people to know?

WALLER: He really just -- his whole thing was making his mom and dad proud. He really was like that puppy dog kind of in that way. You know, he just look in your eyes and he would ask, you know, are you proud with me? And we would say yes, I'm proud of you Eli.

And the other things that -- like things that didn't really come easy for him. I mean, he had like speech and language sorts of delays. And didn't like -- he was not some hard-charging kid. But he would just plug away, and little by little he would get stuff.

COOPER: He never gave up on things?

WALLER: No. Never.

COOPER: How are his siblings doing? I mean, he was a triplet obviously. There is an intense bond between them?

WALLER: They are OK. I mean, they are four so --

COOPER: Do they understand what happened?

WALLER: They know he is gone. They -- you know, they, hi, I'm Eva. I'm a triplet. My brother is in heaven, you know. They say it right away. They know that he is not there and they have moments where they really do get upset. And they say I miss my brother. So they think -- I think they understand as much as a 4-year-old can.

COOPER: I mean, obviously, a lot of parents have been following what happened to Eli very closely. And they were very concern. Was there any sign that anything was wrong? I mean, I know there was some concern he had pink eye, was that the only thing?

WALLER: It really was. I mean, we kept him out of school on Wednesday because his sister had pink eye on Tuesday, whatever it was, and so, that is the way it goes. You know, everybody goes, we all going to get it so we just kept him out of school that day. They were outside, running around, having a great day. I put them to bed at night the way our schedule works, I put them to bed and have a little routine I do with them. And I kiss them good-bye and then I say a little thing to each one. Eli would always say, you know, I would say let's make it a great day tomorrow, you know.

COOPER: Did they all sleep in the same room?

WALLER: They did, yes. It was pretty cool. And amazingly they slept, too, it was pretty cool. But I told him you know, let's have a great day tomorrow. And he told me, I will, daddy, I will. Kissed him on the forehead. I mean, he looked fine, he felt fine. He was just tired as a 4-year-old boy who was running around all day should be.

COOPER: The foundation, what is the name of foundation?

WALLER: It is called the first day of school foundation. Eli had first two days of school in his life and he loved them both.

COOPER: He loved school?

WALLER: He did. He really did. He had an awesome set of teachers. Ms. Seal, Ms. Teresa. We are so grateful for them.

COOPER: And the school has made these ribbons?

WALLER: Yes, we're doing this. The whole community really, we have ribbons out on mail boxes and doors. And people are wearing ribbons. Just in support of I think what we're trying to do here to help kids who are kind of like Eli, imagine the kid who is maybe a little nervous and starting off school. He would get so jazzed up about his new outfit. And let's get a new pair of sneakers and a star wars backpack and let's have our first day of school. And originally that is what we wanted him to do. Like let's see if we can maybe get some money and help some kids who wouldn't be able to have that stuff.

COOPER: Where can people go to donate?

WALLER: We have a Web site. It is You can go right there, and there is big bring, please donate button.

COOPER: I just wanted to read one thing you wrote, that you said about the new reference in a little bit. You said, imagine a shy little puppy, who want only to make people proud and happy, maybe tripping a little bit over his own paws, but truly full of unconditional love.

WALLER: That was Eli. I mean, he was not going to win any races. But really, you want to talk about a pure kind of soul. He cared a lot and loved his sisters and loved his friend. He loved his family and friends. Not ever once did he hold anything back as far as his affection and love for people.

COOPER: Andy, thank you so much for being with us. I appreciate it.

WALLER: Well, I appreciate the chance to talk about the foundation. I really can't thank you enough. I mean, you're like -- you kind of start something like this and you think like wow, maybe this could be something cool. And so, if something good can come out of this, so be it. I would be grateful for that.

COOPER: Well, thank you.

WALLER: Thank you. I appreciate the time.


COOPER: Well, again, if you would like to find out more about the foundation that the family set up to honor Eli and help other kids go to the We'll also put that address again on our Web site.

There are more stories we're following tonight. Gary Tuchman tonight has a "AC360" bulletin.


An Ebola scare in mid-air. A passenger apparently shouted I have Ebola, you're all screwed. That is a quote on an U.S. airway flight from Philadelphia to the Dominican Republic. When the plane landed, a team in hazmat suit escorted the man off the flight. It was all a very bad joke.

With the battle against ISIS underway, the U.S. state department is updated his worldwide caution bulletin. It warns of an increased likely of that attacks against westerners including kidnappings in the Middle East, North Africa, Asia and Europe.

And the Nobel peace-prize was awarded to 17-year-old Malala Yousufzai, a Pakistani national who has bravely fought for education for girls. Two years ago, the outspoken critic of the Taliban was shot in the head by mask man who stop her school then.

Anderson, she shares the honor with another champion of education, he is an Indian activist named Kailash Satyarthi -- Anderson.

COOPER: Both are remarkable people. Gary, thanks very much.

Coming up, new protests in Missouri, the start of a planned weekend of resistance over white police officers killing African-American teens. We'll have the latest from Ferguson next.


COOPER: It was being called a weekend of resistance, it has gotten started in Ferguson and St. Louis, Missouri, with protesters gathering and demanding what they say is justice. Justice they say for Michael Brown, the unarmed teenager killed by officer Darren Wilson back in August and justice they say for other African-American killed by police.

Now, last night there were tense protests over the shooting death of another black teenager by an off-duty police officer, a teenager the police say was armed.

Sara Sidner reports.



SARA SIDNER, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It started off with a peaceful tearful candlelight vigil for 18-year-old Vonderrit Myers, killed by an off-duty but uniformed St. Louis police officer working a security job. But by midnight, the tone had completely changed. The police and protesters clashed near the shooting scene. Police using pepper spray, some protesters going on the attack.

First targeting police vehicles with kicks and bricks, then targeting police themselves.

CHIEF SAM DOTSON, ST. LOUIS POLICE: What I describe as a large knife came flying out of the crowd, actually hit an officer on the shoulder, fortunately not the blade edge and it landed on the ground.

SIDNER: Before it was all over, the protesters torching an American flag, the anger over the killing of another black teen at the hands of a white police officer in the St. Louis area.

The Myers case simply adding fuel to the racially charged atmosphere in and around St. Louis where hundreds of people were already planning to gather to protest another case involving an 18-year-old black teenager killed at the hands of a white police officer. That of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just couldn't just sit back on facebook and keep posting about these things that are coming out and actually doing some real action.

SIDNER: Brown's case sparked weeks of intense protest in Ferguson, Missouri. Brown was unarmed and many witnesses said he had his hands up when he was shot six times by police officer Darren Wilson. The case is now with the grand jury.

But the Myers case is different. Police say he was armed, and the uniformed off-duty police officer gave chase when he saw Myers and two others running after seeing the officer making a u-turn.

Investigators say Myers and the officer got into a struggle and Myers shot at the officer three times. The officer returned fire taking 17 shots, seven to eight hit Myers. The fatal shot to the head. But family and friends don't believe the police story saying Myers was not armed with a gun but a sandwich instead. He is seen here buying a sandwich in a store surveillance video just moments before he was killed.


SIDNER: Whatever the case, the mistrust and racial tension growing ever stronger here.


SIDNER: Thousands of people are expect to come to these protests that don't just happen today but are going to happen throughout the weekend and into Monday. So far, Anderson, we were hundreds of people not thousands, but the protests do continue. The next one in just an hour or so, a candlelight vigil for Michael Brown who was shot and killed by Police Officer Darren Wilson, on August 9th. Protesting continuing -- Anderson.

COOPER: Thanks very much, Sara Sidner. Joining me now are former Los Angeles Police Officer David Klinger, who is a criminal justice professor at the University of Missouri, St. Louis, and CNN political commentator and "New York Times" columnist, Charles Blow.

COOPER: So Charles, whatever did or didn't happen in the death of this young man this week, it obviously lays bare an existing problem between the police department and African-American residents there. You make the point that if the community feels attack then it's real for them. What do you mean by that?

CHARLES BLOW, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: You can kind of argue about or investigate, which is a better way to deal with this, the particulars of this particular circumstance. However, you cannot necessarily discount people's feelings.

And people in that part of the country feel some level of oppression and that has been demonstrated over the last couple of months as people have poured into the streets to protest both the death of Mike Brown and now the death of this young man a couple of days ago.

I think that if you are part of the police community you have to register that and have to understand it and have to figure out ways in which you can allow that to exist and to bubble up and to hear it and to respond to it.

COOPER: David, I mean, you know, to Charles' point it reached the point where many in the African-American community, certainly in Ferguson and elsewhere, don't believe really anything the police have to say even if the shooting may be justified.

So how do you start to build the communication between the police and the community when there really doesn't seem to be any right now.

DAVID KLINGER, CRIMINAL JUSTICE PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI ST.LOUIS: I think the first thing you have to do is you have to have meetings, I know this isn't going to sound right, but meetings with people who are reasonable, who want to actually listen on both sides who want to learn.

I think the problem is the fact that it is a fringe that is driving a lot of this. The arrest data showed in the early days of the Ferguson riots that a sizeable chunk of the people who are causing the problems were outsiders that have come in to exploit it. So for example, in a situation like this, the community should be able to hear the difference between a circumstance where there is no gun, versus a circumstance where there is a shootout, and so obviously there is a problem of communication. And I think a big chunk of that is that the fringe has driven it.

COOPER: Is it really just about communication at this point? Because clearly when you have a situation where say this young man did have a gun, shot at a police officer. And the shooting you know, under a lot of circumstances would be seen in that case as being justified.

The fact that a number of people clearly -- it's not just people from outside the community, a number of people in that community just don't believe the police when they say the guy had a gun, you know?

You have police officers who were wearing wristbands that said you know, saying I am in the name of the officer, who shot Mike Brown while they were on duty.

It is one thing that they do that on their own time, to do that in uniform on duty, all of those kind of things that doesn't seem to be helping, does it?

KLINGER: Right, I think one thing we need to do is disentangle the two incidents. I understand that many people want to conflate them and that's part of why we need to have discussion.

I mean, one of the things that drives me crazy about all this is that there has been a push in our society and rightly so for the last decade or so about a notion of racial profiling. That the police tend to look at all young black males in a certain way.

Well, let me tell you, many people in the black community look at all police the same way. And instead of being able to say this officer is doing a great job. This officer is a knuckle head. People are profiling the police.

One of the most disturbing thing that I saw in the video stream that I've been looking at was a white police officer, male, a black police officer, female, looking downcast as someone from the community was shouting get out of here, get out of here, we don't want you.

What type of message is that from the community to the police and these officers were doing nothing. They literally had their backs turned to this person. They were trying to do everything they could to deescalate and this person was just ramping it up. That is unacceptable.

COOPER: Charles, when David is saying that, you know, there are just infringe elements, not just even from outside the community, but who are in the community and you need to try to find reasonable people to discuss things with on both sides. Does that make sense to you or does that sound like not getting the point?

BLOW: Right. I think always dealing with cooler heads is probably a smart thing to do. I think however it is a problem when you try to make some sort of parity between the people who are being policed and the police themselves.

They do not hold equal power here. You know, the power to arrest, the power to enforce the law or to go too far in that regard rests solely with the police officers.

And so this idea that you know we should somehow feel so aggrieved because the police officers have been profiled because what the data suggests is that they have been profiling particularly these young black men.

There is not a parity there. I don't think that that is a strong argument or even a legitimate argument.

COOPER: Charles Blow, thank you so much. David Klinger as well. Well, just ahead tonight, we move overseas. Where is Kim Jong-Un? Is he sick, has he been ousted? New developments tonight in the mystery of North Korea.


COOPER: Well, tonight, the deepening mystery in one of the world's most secretive countries, where is North Korea's Kim Jong-Un. He didn't up today at a big public celebration marking the founding of North Korea's ruling party.

The anniversary is obviously huge deal in North Korea. You would expect him to be there. It's been more than a month since he has been seen in public. And after today's no-show tonight, well, observers are trying to figure out exactly what is going on.


COOPER (voice-over): This was the last time the animatic dictator was seen in public at a concert with his wife more than five weeks ago. It is Kim Jong-Un's longest absence from public view since he took over the country when his father, Kim Jong-Il died in December of 2011.

Kim Jong-Un's public persona has been a highly crafted piece of propaganda ever since. The 31-year-old military strong man is a near constant theme. Him, riding a horse, complete with galloping sound effects mixed in, Kim seemingly operating a tank, saluting columns of North Korean soldiers at a parade.

Overseeing military exercises all in an effort to project both the strength of North Korea's military and the military's own devotion to their supreme leader.

Their public appearances not just reflect strength, but also benevolence, here, Kim bends down to meet a toddler, taking her hands in his, more doting uncle than ruthless dictator. And then, there is the baby-faced leader giggling on a ride at the opening of an amusement park in Pyongyang.

And of course, the controversial visit by former NBA star, Dennis Rodman. But it is this video of Kim clearly limping on stage in July that's getting a lot of attention and has fuelled reports that he is ill.

North Korean state media released this other video two weeks ago, although it's unclear when it was shot. Acknowledging Kim is suffering from quote, "discomfort." Theories range from a case of gout to ankle problems because of ballooning weight.

Since his last public appearance, some believe his little sister, Kim Yo-Jung could be running the country or even he's been deposed in a coup, but nothing has been confirmed.

To North Korea watchers, Kim's absence from two high profile events this week and the silence about his whereabouts is deafening.

GORDON CHANG, AUTHOR, "NUCLEAR SHOWDOWN": To skip an event, which honors your father and grandfather is a serious breach of protocol unless there is some really good reason. I think right now that Kim Jong-Un is suffering under not only a physical disability but a political one as well.


COOPER: Joining me now is Mitch Moxley who is in North Korea earlier this fall as the only western journalist credentialed to cover the country's film festival. He wrote about it in "GQ" magazine. I didn't even know they had a film festival in Pyongyang, which is kind of surreal.

I understand while you were there, Kim Jong-Un didn't show up at the film festival, people were still referencing him, thanking him. He was a topic of conversation.

MITCH MOXLEY, "GQ" MAGAZINE: Yes, as a matter of fact as soon as we got through customs at the airport, there was a copy of "The Pyongyang Times" with his face on it. While we were in restaurants or watching TV in our hotel, you know it's regular to see clips of him, you know, inspecting factories and things like that.

At the film festival, the speeches at the opening and closing ceremony, he was thanked. It was sort of business as usual. Nobody talked about it at all as a matter of fact.

COOPER: So it is very possible that most people in North Korea don't really know that he has not been seen. Still his face is everywhere in the newspapers.

MOXLEY: Yes, exactly, it is not something you can discuss with your guides. But you know, while we were there was certainly no impression know something was wrong or that he was missing. There was no mention of the fact he had not been seen in a couple of weeks.

COOPER: And how tightly are - I mean, I know you have minders who watch everything you do. You can't really have open discussions with people, can you? MOXLEY: Well, I mean, you can talk about pretty generic day to day films. And we talked about what our life was like in the states. You are discouraged from bringing up the leaders. You can have sort of basic questions.

But you wouldn't want to go and sort of, you know, criticize the leaders or anything. You know, that would put yourself at risk and you put your guides at risk, too.

COOPER: And you're not able to travel much outside the capital city?

MOXLEY: Well, we were in a group the whole time and we did do a day trip to the DMZ. And we did another day trip and a night trip to city about an hour and a half from Pyongyang. That had been opened to tourists about a year before.

It actually opened up quite a bit, tour groups do now go to different parts of the country. There is a cycling tour in the north of the country right now so you can.

But you are not traveling independently. You are always traveling in a group. When we were there, our guides were always with us. If somebody strayed too far from the group, if you took a photo you were not supposed to they would ask to see your camera. It didn't happen often, but it happened from time to time.

COOPER: Did you get a sense of how most people in North Korea lived there? I mean, most people in Pyongyang have some connection to the government. It is not a great representation of how the average person lives.

MOXLEY: Yes, you see what they want you to see. Pyongyang is actually a pretty nice city, looks pretty modern. You don't get to go off on your own in the countryside and see what is going on. That is it. It felt like it was just people being people, really.

People are going about their day to day life. They are going to work, going to school. One great thing about the film festival, we were able to see movies with the North Koreans. We'd be the only foreigners in the theatre.

One time we went to an Indian movie in a 2,000 seat theatre. It was over-sold where people were sitting in the aisles and they were just really into it. It was a really bad movie. People were into it. They just wanted to watch a movie like we do.

COOPER: Interesting. Mitch Moxley, thank you for joining us.

Just ahead tonight, new details about the police officer shown smashing a car window during a traffic stop. He settled a string of lawsuits accusing him of excessive force. Now he is facing a new one, question is, should he still be on the job? Details are next.


COOPER: Tonight, new details about one of the Indiana police officers accused in the civil suit of using excessive violence during a traffic stop. In case you missed the video here is the moment that sparked the lawsuit.

The encounter began with a seat belt violation and how and why it turned violent and whether force was necessary. It all will be something for a jury to decide if the lawsuit goes to court. That remains to be seen though.

The officer broke the window has faced multiple lawsuits. They have all been settled. The question some are asking is why is he still on the job? Susan Candiotti tonight has the latest.


SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's an image that is hard to forget, 13 minutes into a standoff after a man repeatedly refuses to exit his car following a seatbelt infraction, an officer smashes a window.

He is Lieutenant Patrick Vicari smack in the middle of a video gone viral. Who is he? Vicari has been on the force 21 years according to a source with knowledge of the department. He is the head of the traffic division.

Seen here, running a sobriety checkpoint last year, shot by a northwest Indiana police watch dog group. In August, he did an Indiana public broadcasting radio interview about the very thing that caused all the trouble in the first place, the importance of seatbelt enforcement.

LT. PATRICK VICARI, HAMMOND POLICE DEPARTMENT: And that goes hand in hand with the seatbelt laws that we also have to enforce. They feel that big brother is watching them. To a certain extent, OK, that might be the case. But again, should I stand idly by and try not to do anything about the situation?

CANDIOTTI: The Hammond Police Department won't say anything about the Vicari's record citing a civil rights lawsuit involving the controversial seatbelt stop. This group of black ministers from the Hammond area, the NAACP and the city councilmen want answers, but say they have not been able to talk specifics with authorities about what happened either.

Certainly, they shouldn't be out on the street, which the mayor indicated that they still are on the street. They definitely ought to be confined with desk duty and not interact with the public until there was a full investigation.

CANDIOTTI: We were told Vicari was not in the office and after several attempts to reach him at his home and by phone he was not there. He called me back, I can at least say that much. But only to say he can't comment.

We do know he has been sued at least three times over allegations of excessive force, including a complaint from this couple, the photographer, and a man who said he suffered a brain injury during an arrest over a parking infraction.

All three cases were settled out of court. Officer Vicari did not admit to guilt in any of them. This week, Hammond's mayor has been standing by Vicari and all his officers.

"It's not an ideal situation," the mayor told me. "It is not a good idea to argue with police, 99 percent of people agree with that. I wish this didn't happen. I know these officers are good people."

A neighbor called him a good guy, defending his decision to smash that window.

CHARLES KALLAS, VICARI'S NEIGHBOR: I think he is just doing his job. I think he is entitled to act in a responsible manner, seeing how he has been on the police force for 20 years. I'm not going to question his integrity.

CANDIOTTI: Hammond's former police chief wrote on his blog four years ago, quote, "I take a bullet for Pat." Yet for some Hammond residents what happened during this traffic stop is a clarion call for a national debate about the use of police force.


COOPER: Susan Candiotti joins us now from Hammond, Indiana, so the police department, the mayor, they support the officer's action, demanding that the man get out of the car. Did the mayor tell you anything else about the lieutenant's character, about what happened?

CANDIOTTI: Yes, Anderson, he told me he has known this officer, this lieutenant for more than a decade and says that he is a very strong leader on this police force.

And then he added that he thinks that a reasonable person would have simply followed police orders and taken the traffic ticket. Others obviously disagree, but then the mayor added this.

He said, you know, we lost a couple of police officers in the area in the last few months and that he, the mayor, is very concerned about officers' safety.

Well, other people argue that the family in this case, they say, anyway, was also concerned about their safety. It is a tough situation.

COOPER: And the lawsuit, we'll see what happens. Susan, thanks.

Up next, this week's "American Journey" Anthony Bourdain on food and family in Paraguay, what he uncovered on his trip to the South American country.


COOPER: Tonight, I sit down with Anthony Bourdain for a great Japanese meal and to talk about his first trip to South American country of Paraguay, and discovering amazing foods. His voyage is the focus of this weekend's episode of "PART'S UNKNOWN."

Here's our conversation at a great Japanese restaurant called Sakegora here in New York.


COOPER: What is Paraguay like, one of those places I always wanted to go to. I always get it confused with Uruguay.

ANTHONY BOURDAIN, CNN HOST, "PARTS UNKNOWN": Paraguay, we know almost nothing about it. But we go, yes, it was a place where the Germans hid out after the war. It had an incredible amount of insane military dictators. My great, great, great grandfather disappeared in Paraguay.

COOPER: Where was he?

BOURDAIN: We knew he was in Argentina and Brazil doing some kind of mysterious business. He was recorded as having died in Asuncion. So I went to look into this question. And -- while doing that, looked into Paraguay, which is at various times seen as a sort of a Utopia for Germans and Mennonites.

COOPER: What drew them there?

BOURDAIN: The promise of unlimited wealth and agricultural wonderland. And many places, the language is something I had no idea. One of their early maximum leaders commanded all citizens to intermarry. And to -- as best as possible mix and/or eradicate the stain of their European heritage.

COOPER: That is very interesting.

BOURDAIN: It is very interesting. It is a mixed -- very mixed culture and a very remote one. I mean, who goes to Paraguay? Also it's a very friendly lovely one with great food and a lot to do.


COOPER: Don't miss Anthony Bourdain, "PARTS UNKNOWN" this Sunday 9 p.m. Eastern and Pacific here on CNN. That does it for us. Thanks very much for watching. "THIS IS LIFE WITH LISA LING" starts now.