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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Record Snowfall; NBC Drops Bill Cosby Sitcom Project; Accusations against Bill Cosby Impossible to Prove; Grand Jury's Verdict on Darren Wilson Coming Soon; Obama Will Address the Nation about his Executive Order on Immigration; Basketball Team Stranded on the Bus for 25 Hours
Aired November 19, 2014 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Hey, good evening. Thanks for joining us. There is breaking news tonight on many fronts and breaking news in a story that already stretches the imagination and has taken seven lives so far. As many as six feet of snow have already fallen in and around Buffalo, in New York, and another two to three feet are on the way. Hard to imagine, let alone believe it when you see it. Take a look.
Ireporter James Grimaldi took a drone, sent it up over his street in West Seneca, just a few miles outside of Buffalo. This is what six feet of snow looks like with more snow coming down. As you can see it's basically a wall running block after block with cars underneath, street signs barely poking out and in plenty of neighborhoods, a lot of houses with people trapped inside. Families are still trapped, as we speak, and we're going to talk to one woman in a moment who may be trapped with nine others and a few dogs as well, all the way until the weekend. That's when rescuers may be able to come.
A basketball team was stuck on a bus for 25 hours. We'll talk to some of them. A baby was born at a firehouse. They are dad joins us tonight. And as we said, seven people have died in this storm. And again, there is more snow coming. Much, much more. We are going to get the details from Chad Myers in a moment and bring you some remarkable stories from people who are caught in a lot of different ways in the middle of all this.
Martin Savidge is outside right now in the middle of it all.
Martin, you've had a reprieve from the snow for most of the day. How is it right now?
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's starting to turn again, Anderson. Good evening to you.
You know, the wind is beginning to pick up. That's always the concern when you're talking about lake-effect snow. And it is starting to blow once more and that means the snow machine is going to turn on and that's why you get these incredible depths like what you see behind us here.
This is the south Buffalo area. They have been struggling all day long. They have made some progress, primarily on the main thorough fares. But as you point out is that drone that you have showed that we found in the south Buffalo suburbs, the side streets, the homes, it has changed the landscape. It is so deep, of course, now it's above the cars.
So when the plows started to go into neighborhoods, they began realizing, they even don't know where the streets necessarily are or the automobiles are. They had to back out, bring in this heavy earth- moving equipment essentially and they're going through this process of digging out. Think of it like a mudslide, only in this case it's a snow slide. Heavy snow has to be lifted, put in trucks and hauled literally out of the community. There is no room for it here, Anderson.
COOPER: And that looks like just a wall of snow behind you. What is that covering?
SAVIDGE: Well, I mean, you know, this is part of an intersection here. So it's on the corner and of course part of it is because the fact that they have been dumping snow or at least trying to clear initially but they soon realized there's no more room here.
So these are going to be hazards that are going to exist for some time. And it's a problem for traffic, but most of all it's a problem for emergency crews. And again, this is a main thorough fare. This is a fire station. People's roads in front of their homes, their driveways, they can't get out. We saw them today. They struggles. They used everything they had and they realized there is just no point. They gave up. They went back inside and most cars are still trapped where they were.
COOPER: And I know, you went to some of the hardest-hit neighborhoods today. What did you see?
SAVIDGE: Well, I mean, the good thing is that people are really helping one another. We saw a lot of that spirit all the time. They're out there. They're digging. There's like gangs of people going around with shovels on their shoulders sort of responding to help out when somebody needs something.
But the truth is, I mean, it is just a massive amount of snow. You can't really wrap your head around it. And to think that more is on the way, it's going to take a thaw, really, more than it is going to take a shovel to get you out of this one.
COOPER: Martin Savidge, appreciate it. Try to get some warm.
Of all the images so far, few compare to the one that Chrissy Hazard confronted right after she, her husband, friend and seven kids heard a giant roaring sound inside of their house.
Take a look. You can see that picture? A wall of snow had broken through one of their doors, essentially trapping everybody inside the house.
Chrissy Hazard joins us tonight to tell us her story. Chrissy, thanks for joining us. How are you and your family doing?
CHRISSY HAZARD, RESIDENT: We're good. We're buried in the house, but we're doing OK. We're safe.
COOPER: Now, you say you're buried in the house. I mean, you're still trapped inside. I know your dog is probably going nuts. You can't get out at all?
HAZARD: No. We have about five feet, almost five-and-a-half feet right now surrounding our house and it's snowing right now.
COOPER: Did you have any idea it was going to get this bad?
HAZARD: We had no clue. This is the first time this has ever gotten this bad.
COOPER: And I'm showing a picture now of your door that caved in. How did that happen? Was it just the pressure from the snow?
HAZARD: It was absolutely the pressure from the snow. Some of it also came down from the roof and when it did, it blew the doors right in across my living room.
COOPER: Where were you when the door blew in?
HAZARD: Thankfully, we were up in another living room in the other part of our house.
COOPER: When you first saw this, what did you think?
HAZARD: We actually, when we came down, we thought it was going to be the roof on the floor. When we seen the doors, our first reaction was, grab shovels and get the snow out.
COOPER: So I know you have a temporary fix for the doors. Is that the door behind you?
HAZARD: That is the door behind me with a very hopeful fix that's going to keep it shut.
COOPER: What's the fix? It looks like -- is that a treadmill?
HAZARD: It is a treadmill. We actually placed the doors in the door jamb because the door jamb is actually broken as well. There's a six- foot table holding it as well as the treadmill.
COOPER: A lot of people use their treadmill to hang laundry on. I don't know anyone who actually uses their treadmill at home. That's the first time I've seen a treadmill used to prop up a door. Does it work?
HAZARD: It's coming in good handy.
COOPER: And have --
HAZARD: We just hope it lasts until we get help here.
COOPER: Have rescue workers been able to get to your house or to your neighbors at all?
HAZARD: Last night around 11:00 a district that is actually 20 minutes away from us, they actually came in and checked on us. And when they checked on us, we had already had this up, so they actually went across the street and checked on the neighbor.
COOPER: So basically you just have to wait it out, wait until the snow is either moved or melts, is that what you're being told?
HAZARD: Well, we're being told it will take another three or four more days for them to get to the snow to remove it. Right now, we can't even go out and snow blow because there's nowhere literally to put the snow.
COOPER: We heard the dog barking before. Has the dog been able to at least go out and do its business?
HAZARD: We actually have a little maybe three by four area outside our one door where they can actually go out there.
COOPER: OK. And I understand -- I mean with all this going on, I understand that today is your wedding anniversary but you didn't even realize it?
HAZARD: No. We lost track of the date being stuck in, but it is my anniversary.
COOPER: This is probably not how you wanted to spend your wedding anniversary.
HAZARD: No, not exactly, but we're safe and that's all that matters.
COOPER: Safe and together, whether you want to be right now or not. But you're together. Thank you, Chrissy. I hope you get out soon.
HAZARD: Thank you. You too. I hope you are safe where you are as well.
COOPER: A great spirit there. It bears repeating, it's completely off the charts. This storm is far from over. Let's take a look at how bad it is right now and where the storm is heading.
Let's turn now to Chad Myers in the severe weather center in Atlanta.
So, Buffalo dealing with it right now and what's the situation there?
CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: More snow on the way. Without a doubt, 20 to 30 more inches on top of maybe that lady's home right there.
COOPER: Twenty to 30 more? MYERS: Absolutely, before it finally stops.
Now, it could be a little bit farther to the south where there's only 44 inches, but if it's on top of where she is, she said five-and-a- half feet, 65 inches. That's as close as you need to get. That's how much snow is Cheektowaga, New York right now.
If you think about one square foot, you want to shovel one square foot, that is five-and-a-half feet tall, you melt that down it's about five inches of water. That weighs 25 pounds, somewhere around that. So if you have a thousand square foot driveway, just 20-feet wide, 50- feet long, that's 25,000 pounds of snow you have to move just to get your driveway clear. Twelve-and-a-half tons of snow just to get out. That's what it was like. And Buffalo was almost in the clear the entire day.
Here's Buffalo and here are the south towns. Cheektowaga, west (INAUDIBLE) now. That's where the snow came down. It was a warm lake, a cold wind and that cold wind brought the snow right onshore, right on shore into Buffalo and will be called south town (ph), the Niagara frontier right here.
Here's the forecast for tomorrow and Marty is already in, light snow. But for tomorrow this lake wind event just like we had the other day blows right along the lake and right back into Buffalo and that's where the snow will come from.
Now, it's not going to be a 24-hour event. It will be a 10-hour event so there won't be as much snow and by tomorrow night it's all gone. But can you imagine, you think you've got yourself out of your house and then another two-and-a-half feet comes down.
COOPER: I also heard it might rain, which would not be a good thing.
MYERS: That would be a terrible thing. If it rains and it probably will at least on the weekend, all of that snow is not going to melt right away. That snow is going to hold that rain in and then that snow on top is going to get heavier and heavier and heavier and all of a sudden, like she was saying, she thought the roof collapsed, many roofs are in trouble with that type of water. Six or seven inches of water on top of the roof in the form of snow, heavy wet snow, that's where it gets very, very tricky and very dangerous.
COOPER: Unbelievable. Chad Myers. Thanks very much, Chad.
A quick reminder. Make you set your DVR. You can watch "360" whenever you want. We'll have more weather throughout this hour on more and throughout the broadcast.
Up next, the mayor of Buffalo and the area's newest resident. She was born in a firehouse which doesn't happen all the time. But it's the circumstances surrounding it and the family's incredible good fortune. It's going to blow you away this story about all the people that were able to help with the delivery. They managed to find just -- I mean, just incredibly in the midst of the storm. You'll hear from her dad when "360" continues. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
COOPER: Even as some people are digging out from as much as six feet of snow, a new wave of lake-effect snow is just now beginning in upstate New York. When it's over, there could be another two to three feet as Chad Myers has told us on top of this dangerous, deadly pileup.
Again, seven people have died so far as a result of the storm which has already brought a season's worth of snow in just 48 hours. But the actual season, winter is still a month away.
Joining us by phone is Buffalo's mayor, Byron Brown.
Mayor Brown, what is the latest tonight? I mean, how are the rescues, the cleanup effort, how's it going?
MAYOR BYRON BROWN, BUFFALO (via phone): It going well. As you indicated, a lot of snow in Buffalo but pretty much it's been the tale of two cities in Buffalo. South Buffalo, which is about a quarter of the city, has been hit with over five feet of snow. In the three- quarters of the rest of the city, we're looking at snow between one and six inches. So it's been amazing such heavy snowfall in one area of our city and not heavy in the other.
COOPER: Are there still a lot of people stranded to your knowledge?
BROWN: Fortunately now there are not a lot of people stranded. There were at one time people that were stranded that took refuge in firehouses, in police stations, but now at this point we don't have many people stranded at all.
COOPER: Are you still advising people to stay indoors?
BROWN: We do have a travel ban in effect in south Buffalo. That area of the city only. And we have a limited state of emergency in south Buffalo.
COOPER: And in terms of traveling, interstate 90, which runs from Rochester, the New York/Pennsylvania state line, does that remain closed tonight?
BROWN: Interstate 90 is closed. A lot of the major roadways that lead in and out of the city of Buffalo are closed. We have imposed a travel ban because people are coming from other areas of the community going into the south Buffalo area and finding themselves getting stuck, which is compromising our snow removal effort.
At this point there is so much snow it's very hard to plow, so we're not plowing it, we're actually hauling it out, lifting it with high lifts, putting it in pay loaders and actually removing it from south Buffalo. At this point probably over 300 truckloads of snow have been removed and over 6500 tons of snow have been removed.
COOPER: Is that just because there's no place to shovel it to, you've just got to cart it out? BROWN: No place to shovel. So much snow has fallen in such a short
period of time that there's absolutely no place to put it in that one isolated area of the city of Buffalo, south Buffalo, which is about a quarter of the city. The city is 42 square miles. The area that we're talking about is about 10 square miles.
COOPER: And then more snow expected. How bad is that going to hamper things.
BROWN: More snow expected. It is a concern. It will be a complication. Now, we have over 90 pieces of equipment on the roads in the city of Buffalo. Governor Andrew Cuomo has come in with assistance, trucks, snow plows, to assist in our snow fighting effort and that has been very helpful to us.
COOPER: Mayor Brown, I wish you all the best. I know you have a lot of work ahead of you. Thank you so much for being with us.
BROWN: Thank you, Anderson.
COOPER: As the mayor mentioned, getting in and out of parts of the area remain tough and there are travel bans in some areas. However, there has been at least one new arrival in the storm.
I want you to meet a beautiful little girl, Lucy Grace. Lucy Grace Hojnacki. That's her mom, Bethany and her father, Jared, who joins us with a birthday story he will certainly be telling his daughter for years to come.
So Jared, first of all, congratulations on your new arrival. It is amazing. Your wife, Bethany, went into labor during the snowstorm. Walk us through what happened. Because I understand, you saw some firefighters were helping someone else nearby?
JARED HOJNACKI, FATHER OF BABY BORN IN SNOWSTORM (via phone): Yes, thank you. Yes, it was kind of incredible. God really put the people who need to be in the right spot for us at the right time. You know, I hiked through the snow to get my son to safety with my parents. And on the way back ran into a fire lieutenant and he was helping a woman, so, you know, we came together and she overheard my conversation with the lieutenant, which was that my wife was in labor and said, you know, I'm a nurse and I'm a labor and delivery nurse. And the lieutenant said, you know, you're coming with us.
COOPER: Wait, wait. The stranded driver who the lieutenant was helping out when you got there, that stranded driver was a labor and delivery nurse?
COOPER: That's amazing! What are the odds of that?
HOJNACKI: It's not odds, it's God. It's not odds. You know, she delivered our baby. She was an angel to us. And, you know, there was another angel in the night later, another stranded nurse, her name was Stacy. She came to the fire hall where we basically couldn't make it to the hospital. We were at the fire hall for basically the duration of the night and another nurse who was stranded came to the fire hall and she was a maternity nurse whose specialty was caring for babies after they're born.
COOPER: Wow, that's amazing!
HOJNACKI: Yes, it's more than amazing. We're so blown away by God's grace.
COOPER: You're so blessed on this. I mean, it is just incredible. Your daughter, Lucy Grace, who's -- I mean, so beautiful. She certainly knew how to make an entrance. And I understand her name has special significance, can you tell us?
HOJNACKI: Yes. And it is just kind of neat. We had this name picked out, you know, from the get-go. It was kind of our girl name. Our first child was a boy and Lucy means life or illumination and, you know, Grace is pretty self-explanatory, but I think given the storm and she came out in it, it's just a special light of God's Grace and how he cared for us really on the day of her coming into the world. It's really incredible. We had the name picked out like nine months ago. It's -- God had a plan and this wasn't an accident.
COOPER: And I mean, the pictures are just so amazing. She's so beautiful and tiny and she looks so peaceful. How is Lucy Grace, how is your wife doing?
HOJNACKI: Really good. I'm actually -- I'm staring at my wife right now. She's breastfeeding Lucy and my wife and Lucy are both doing good. We've just really seen such an outpouring of love and support, like the nurses and staff here at Mercy Hospital have been so wonderful to us.
I mean, yes, the firefighters of Buffalo in getting us to the hospital, I mean it's incredible. They don't call Buffalo the city of good neighbors for -- it's for a good reason.
COOPER: Yes. Well, Buffalo is a terrific city and I mean these firefighters are just extraordinary. And we were showing also the picture of the labor and delivery nurse, the woman who was stranded in the vehicle, we showed her picture. She was the one in between in that picture in the blue.
Jared, thank you so much. I mean, congratulations and please give my best to your wife and just thanks for talking to us.
HOJNACKI: Thank you. I will.
COOPER: Amazing, amazing story. Just ahead we have breaking news. More fallout tonight for Bill Cosby. A new sitcom project is dropped and reruns of the Cosby show are being pulled now off the network they are being shown on after another woman accuses him of raping her. Cosby's attorney is hitting back slamming her story.
We will also talk to a district attorney who says he believed the woman many years ago who made accusations against Bill Cosby, but tries explains why he didn't attempt to file charges against Cosby.
COOPER: Breaking story tonight. NBC has decided to drop a sitcom project it was developing with Bill Cosby and TVland which shows reruns of "the Cosby show" has taken it off of the air and it also deleted the program's page on its Web site.
CNN has reached out to TVland for comment. We are waiting to hear back. The fallout comes, of course, just hours after former supermodel Janice Dickinson became the latest woman to accuse the legendary comedian of sexual assault. In an interview with E.T., Dickinson said that Cosby raped her in 1982 after giving her wine and a pill.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JANICE DICKINSON, ACCUSED BILL COSBY OF RAPE: The last thing I remember was Bill Cosby in a patch work robe, dropping his robe and getting on top of me. And I remember a lot of pain.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Today Cosby's attorney fired back in a statement saying Janice Dickerson's story accusing Bill Cosby of rape is a lie. There is a glaring contradiction between what she is claiming now for the first time and what she wrote in her own book and what she told the media back in 2002.
More than a dozen women have accused Cosby of sexual assault. We want to be clear, though, Mr. Cosby has never been criminally charged in connection with any of the allegations.
Andrea Constand went to the police with a decade ago accusing Cosby of drugging and groping her at his house. She was 31 at the time. She settled a lawsuit against Cosby. A former prosecutor (INAUDIBLE) decided not to charge Cosby in that case even though he believed Constand's story. He joins me along with CNN legal analyst and former federal prosecutor Sunny Hostin.
Mr. Castor, back in 2005, let's go back, the alleged victim, did you believe her story?
BRUCE CASTOR, FORMER MONTGOMERY COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY; Yes, I believe what she told us was true and that she believed it was true. The problem, of course, was that her recollection was foggy and imprecise, which made me wish for forensic evidence to try to back it up.
COOPER: But you believed that something untoward had happened? You believed -- I mean, she said she had been drugged, she had been given some pills. You believed that?
CASTOR: Well, she said she had been given some pills. We concluded from that that she had been drugged. And, yes, I did believe that and that there was nothing about her that led me to think that she was a lunatic or anything. I mean she seemed to me to be telling the truth.
COOPER: So why then ultimately did you decide not to prosecute the case? I mean, I know a significant amount of time had gone by.
CASTOR: Well, just because she was able to tell us things I thought were true doesn't mean that she had the full recollection of what happened. Under our theory that she had been drugs and maybe given alcohol so that she wouldn't remember, couldn't fight back, couldn't resist, those -- that same theory worked against us because of what she was able to tell us in and of itself wasn't enough to be able to go forward.
She told us that she had been there voluntarily, that she had been given, I think, wine and some pills. But she had asked for the medication because she wasn't feeling well and then she fell asleep there, woke up disheveled and had some vague recollection of something going on in between. That's not enough to win the case. What we need was some kind of forensics to back up out theory. And the delay of the year in reporting it, really, made it very, very difficult on a number of levels.
COOPER: Sunny, you are former sex crimes prosecutor. How difficult is it to prove a case like this, prove an allegation like this, unless there is forensic evidence given the amount of time that's gone by?
SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN ANALYST: Well, it's near impossible. It's very, very difficult. And I completely agree with what he just said. I mean the bottom line is these cases are rarely reported. And when they are reported, if they're reported quickly, you can buttress a witness's testimony with some sort of forensic examination. If you don't have that, what you have is one person's word against another person's word. And remember, that the victim has been drugged so her memory is going to be, you know, convoluted. Her memory is going to have a lot of holes in it. And so that kind of case is just so very difficult to prove. And I often say this and I'm sure my fellow prosecutor will agree, unfortunately it's not always what happened, it's what you can prove in a court of law beyond a reasonable doubt. So when he says I believed her, I've been in that circumstance many times, when I've believed someone. I believe a crime has been committed, but my duty is whether or not I can prove it. And in this case, it seems like it couldn't be proven.
COOPER: Sunny, you and I have talked about this before. The fact that there are now so many women making similar claims against Bill Cosby to what extend are other allegations admissible supporting evidence in criminal and civil cases?
HOSTIN: Well, unfortunately in this case my understanding is that the statute of limitations has run in both criminally and civilly so we're never going to hear the chorus of voices in a court of law. But in terms of the court of public opinion, I suppose, Anderson, I think it's really important to note that there are 13 women, perhaps 14 women at this point coming forward, saying basically the same thing, drugged and raped, drugged and raped, almost like a motive, right, an M.O., yet they don't know each other. They have nothing to gain. And I think that that lends credibility to their allegations. I am just so sick and tired of reading on Twitter of getting e-mails from people that are saying they have a lot to gain. They're going to get fame and notoriety. I can tell you from working with victims of crimes, they don't want that kind of fame. They don't want that kind of notoriety, they want their story to be heard. And I think that is why we are seeing so many people come forward.
What I am curious about is when Bill Cosby is going to come forward and rebut this chorus of voices. I want to hear from him, not from his lawyer, not from his PR specialist, I want to hear from Bill Cosby. My understanding is that Mr. Castor did hear from Bill Cosby and I'm really curious about his perception of his demeanor.
COOPER: That's a good question, Mr. Castor. Were you able to talk to him? What was your perception?
CASTOR: Yes, we did talk to him. And the point that was just raised I think is an excellent one. The public shaming here I think is going a long way and also, at least in my case, the victim did have a civil recourse. I thought that he was very measured in what he said. And my gut from 25, 30 years of doing this business was that she was telling the truth and he was being evasive and lying.
So this was a classic example of what drives prosecutors to wake up at night, which is I thought that he was guilty. I didn't have enough evidence to prove it. And I was worried that he would go out and do it again. So I wanted to make sure that whatever investigation we did would be useful in the civil case so at least he would be banged in the civil arena and maybe that would teach him his lesson.
COOPER: How frustrating then has this been for you, Mr. Castor, all these years and now to hear all these allegations? Do you feel a lot of regret about not being in a position back then to have prosecuted?
CASTOR: Well, I'm very disappointed that we didn't have the evidence back then to prosecute him and I'm upset that potentially other women were victimized. But I mean you put your hand on the bible and you say that you're going to enforce the laws of the commonwealth to the best of your ability. That requires you to follow the rules. That doesn't mean that you have to like it.
COOPER: Mr. Castor, I appreciate you being on. Thank you very much. And Sunny Hostin as well. Thanks.
CASTOR: Thank you for having me here.
We have more breaking news up ahead. We're learning a grand jury could decide by Friday on whether to indict Officer Darren Wilson for the shooting death of Michael Brown. The decision, though, could be kept secret for several days. We'll talk it over with our legal experts, Mark Geragos and Sunny Hostin, coming up.
COOPER: Breaking news tonight. Law enforcement sources saying that the grand jury could decide as early as Friday, if Officer Darren Wilson will be indicted in the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. But what they decide, could be kept secret for 48 hours. This would give police time to prepare for any potential demonstrations.
And under that scenario, the decision wouldn't be announced until sometime on Sunday.
Joining me now are CNN legal analyst criminal defense Attorney Mark Geragos and back with us, former federal prosecutor Sunny Hostin.
So, Mark, the grand jury - I mean they haven't been sequestered. So, it's possible they are aware that the lack of indictment could incite anger, could incite protests. How does the prosecutor ensure they don't try to take that into consideration?
MARK GERAGOS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I don't know that the prosecutor necessarily really cares about that ultimately, because one of the things that's kind of unfolded during this is that you've noticed or at least it's been reported that the grand jurors may have requested Michael Bonner (ph) to come in and testify who is a defense witness. And it's possible that you, unlike what you normally see where the grand jury is a rubber stamp for the prosecution, this may be a grand jury that's decided to really take matters into their own hands and do what grand juries were originally several hundred years ago decided or implemented for which was to really drive the investigation and not be the hand maiden of the prosecutor.
COOPER: Sunny, if a decision does come Friday, though, and authorities want to hold it for 48 hours in order to get police and stuff aware and mobilized in case there is any kind of trouble afterward or reaction to it afterward, how likely is that decision actually going to remain secret for 48 hours, given the leaks and stuff that we've seen? Who actually would know about the decision?
HOSTIN: Well, certainly the grand jurors would know about it and law enforcement would know about it. And given the number of leaks, many of them seemingly coming from law enforcement, I can't imagine it.
COOPER: So, the grand jury would tell - the judge already, well, here's our decision and the judge would tell others in law enforcement ...
HOSTIN: Well, that's the crazy thing, there isn't a judge in the grand jury ...
COOPER: Right. Of course.
HOSTIN: It's just the prosecutor. But the prosecutor would know whether or not there would be an indictment or no indictment, no true bill. I just can't imagine given the scope of the leaks, I mean we've heard so many things that in a grand jury process you're not supposed to hear. Let's remember, Mark, I think you'll finally agree with me on this, grand jury proceedings are supposed to be secret. So while the witnesses in front of the grand jury aren't necessarily -- they're allowed to say certain things but law enforcement people aren't and the grand jurors aren't.
GERAGOS: Well, Sunny, let's just - let's agree on this. Let's agree on this. If they can try to keep it secret for 48 hours, it won't stay secret for 48 seconds.
HOSTIN: I would agree with you on that.
COOPER: Because just too many people will know about it?
GERAGOS: There's too many people, the jurors themselves are going to disclose it immediately, whether anybody wants to believe that or not. Law enforcement, as Sunny said, is traditionally the ones who leak like a sieve. They're not going to keep it quiet. They have got a symbiotic relationship with the media and that's going to be out, somebody is going to leak that immediately. So, there's no way they are going to be able to hold this in.
COOPER: And there's no way the prosecutor ...
COOPER: And the prosecutor wouldn't hold the information from law enforcement. The prosecutor wouldn't say, well, we're going to announce this decision Sunday morning at this time, you need to mobilize but I'm not going to tell you one way or the other what the decision is at this point?
GERAGOS: Well, I think they have already telegraphed that they're going to mobilize. So the prosecutor can do whatever he wants to do. But understand something, normally the grand jury will do whatever the prosecutor wants him to do. This may be a rogue -- one of the rare cases where you have a rogue grand jury that's going to do what they want to do and be a throwback to what a grand jury was supposed to be.
COOPER: Sunny, if there's a decision not to indict for the Brown family, is that it? I mean there was the federal investigation.
HOSTIN: Yeah, there's the federal investigation that's still pending, we know that. And I said this from the very beginning, yes, a grand jury can come back with no true bill, can come back and not indict, but a prosecutor can still charge a case that hasn't been indicted. We don't think that's going to happen, but it could always happen if a special prosecutor, let's say, is brought forth and that prosecutor might be able to charge. And if you want to bring in additional information in front of a new grand jury, you could do that as well because really it's the prosecutor that's in charge. So, in my view while if there's no indictment here, it is probably the end of the road state-wise for this family. It doesn't necessarily have to be.
COOPER: All right, Sunny, thanks. Mark Geragos as well. We'll see you as always. Find out more on the story and others at cnn.com.
Coming up tonight President Obama saying it's tomorrow he's going to outline his plans to fix the broken immigration system without Congress. Republicans are vowing to stop the executive action. We'll have all the details on that coming up. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
COOPER: Tomorrow night President Obama is going to outline his plan for executive action on immigration in a primetime television address. He queued up the drama today with a video on his Facebook page.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: So, what I'm going to be laying out is the things that I can do with my lawful authority as president to make the system work better even as I continue to work with Congress and encourage them to get a bipartisan comprehensive bill that can solve the entire problem.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Republicans fired back immediately. House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCall and judiciary chairman Bob Goodlatte said in a letter we strongly urge you to respect the Constitution, abandon any unconstitutional unilateral executive actions on immigration. And they warned they'll try to stop the White House from implementing the executive order if President Obama ignores their plea. And sources familiar with Mr. Obama plan - with his plan say it includes deferring deportation for the parents of U.S. citizens, a move that would affect up to 3.5 million people. Chief Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash joins us now with the latest.
So, Dana, what are the latest details about what the president is going to announce tomorrow night?
DANA BASH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, first of all, that it could affect about 5 million undocumented immigrants. And it is to allow people who came here legally and have children who are legal to stay here without being deported, without the fear of being deported. And then also those Dreamers, kids who came here through no fault of their own with their parents, they already can stay but that would extend that. They're also saying at the White House and other Democratic sources that this would allow the border patrol agents and others to focus more on the criminals and to be more aggressive on getting those who Republicans argue are a real menace to society, not necessarily those who want to do good.
COOPER: You know, and critics are obviously pointing out that in times past the president said he couldn't or shouldn't take executive action on this. I want to play just a couple of those moments for our viewers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: With respect to the notion that I can just suspend deportations through executive order, that's just not the case.
I can't do it by myself. We're going to have to change the laws in Congress.
The notion that somehow by myself I can go and do these things is just not true.
What I've said is, is that there's a path to get this done and that's through Congress.
I'm the president of the United States, I'm not the emperor of the United States. My job is to execute laws that are passed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: He said he couldn't do it in the past. He's now saying he can do it, and should do it and will do it. What's the White House spin on this?
BASH: Well, first of all, we should also remind people that he's not just the president, he also is a constitutional -- he was a constitutional professor and a lawyer, so he speaks from -- with academic knowledge. What Democrats are saying is, and the candid ones who I talk to is that he did believe that and he did prefer to go through Congress. When that was clear it wasn't going to happen and he had a lot of meetings and a lot of pressure from immigration groups, that he told his lawyers in the White House and around the various agencies, get me to yes. Figure out a way for me that I can get around the constitutional problems and then that is what they landed at with this executive order. The other thing that Democrats say is this is why the order will not include parents of Dreamers. Parents who came here who are still undocumented immigrants, because that they felt is not within the bounds of his executive authority. So those are the kinds of things that they're arguing. It is not easy to argue when you have statements like that over and over as you played from our president.
COOPER: Dana, thanks.
BASH: Thank you.
COOPER: We of course are going to have coverage of the president's address to the nation tomorrow night. We'll bring it to you live during a special edition of "360" at 8:00 p.m. Eastern tomorrow night. I hope you'll join us.
Coming up next tonight, an update on the snowstorm. You'll hear from three members of a local basketball team who spent more than 24 hours stuck on a bus as the snow just kept on rising.
COOPER: Breaking news. Round two, a punishing (ph) snow just now arriving in the Buffalo area. As many as two to three additional feet of it forecast. Seven lives lost so far that we know about. Big stretch of the New York State Thruway remains closed. The reason why, is more than - that's more than plain to see. This was taken earlier when the storm, it's hard to believe but somewhere underneath all of that snow is one of the area's busiest interstate highways. Beginning Monday night that snow scene included a bus carrying members of the Niagara University women's basketball team, home from a game in Pittsburgh. They were stuck until around 4:00 a.m. this morning. Joining us tonight teammates, Sylvia Maxwell, Meghan McGuinness and Kelly van Leeuwen. So, Sylvia, you were traveling from Pittsburg Monday night after a game, your bus got stranded. Walk us through what happened.
SYLVIA MAXWELL, NIAGARA UNIVERSITY WOMEN'S BASKETBALL TEAM: So we left at 10:00 and we got stranded around 2:00. And I was asleep at the moment so when we woke up, when I woke up, everyone was like, oh, we're not moving. The snow -- there was an accident and we're just stuck. So I was like OK, I'm just going back to sleep because we're in western New York. We have snow all the time so this is not a big deal. So I go to sleep, and I wake up in a couple of hours and we're still sitting there. I'm just like, OK, we're not moving. And we just sit there. We're trying to be positive. We just, you know, singing songs, playing games. And we notice a few more hours go by. We're just like, OK, we're really not going anywhere. So we ended up staying the night on the bus. And that's when we woke up and realized that we were really stranded there.
COOPER: And Meghan, were people panicking at all?
MEGHAN MCGUINNESS, CO-CAPTAIN NIAGARA UNIVERSITY WOMEN'S BASKETBALL TEAM: No, we stayed really calm. I know that we learned a lot of people were in a lot more danger than us so our coaches kept us really calm and positive and we just tried to stay together.
COOPER: Kelly, did you have enough food, enough water? Because I understand you were filling up water bottles with snow and you would drink them once the snow melted.
KELLY VAN LEEUWEN, CAPTAIN NIAGARA UNIVERSITY WOMEN'S BASKETBALL TEAM: We had supplies that we had brought with us on our trip but we started to run out. And we did fill up some of our water bottles with snow to melt so that we could use them for water. And we also kind of compiled all of our food together to share equally without -- throughout everybody on the bus. There were also rescue workers who made their way to us and delivered waters, pop and juice and granola bars to us, which we were very grateful for. So that also helped us.
COOPER: And how long, Kelly, were you actually stuck there?
VAN LEEUWEN: So we were stuck on the highway from about 2:00 in the morning and we were rescued by the rescue workers at about 3:00 a.m. On Wednesday morning.
COOPER: So 25 hours?
VAN LEEUWEN: Yeah.
COOPER: Wow. I mean ...
COOPER: This is kind of an indelicate question. But there was a bathroom on the bus, right?
VAN LEEUWEN: Yes. MCGUINNESS: Our bus had idling time so we had heat, and electricity
and there was also a bathroom in the back.
COOPER: All right. Well, that's good. And I know, Sylvia, one of your team members tweeted out a photo showing the team in prayer. I understand you guys prayed every hour?
MAXWELL: Yes, just about every hour on the hour. And just praying for those that couldn't get rescued and are less fortunate than we were and just praying for help.
COOPER: That's awesome that you were thinking in a time like this of other people and people who were even less fortunate. And Meghan, walk us through exactly how this all came to an end. How did you get rescued?
MCGUINNESS: Well, I think it was around 4:00 a.m., 3:00 a.m. on Wednesday morning and the rescue workers came. We were in little groups and we got to ride in these little snowmobiles, I don't really know what they were, but we were in the back of a snowmobile with guys driving us on the highway. It was pretty cool. We were covered in snow. And that took us all the way to the toll booth where we rode the same SWAT truck and a couple of people rode in a police car. And then we all met up at the police station and a public bus took us back to campus.
COOPER: Do you ever want to get on another bus again? Because I understand, Kelly, I understand you've got a game in a few days in Buffalo and it's like a 30-minute bus ride away.
VAN LEEUWEN: Yes. A little bit hesitant, especially that it's in Buffalo, but it's on the - I know that's on the opposite side of Buffalo so hopefully we won't have to deal with any more of the snow.
COOPER: Well, bring a lot of granola bars and stuff.
VAN LEEUWEN: Yeah.
COOPER: Well, listen, I'm glad you guys were all together and had each other and really stayed together throughout this. Thank you so much, Sylvia, Meghan and Kelly. I appreciate it.
VAN LEEUWEN: Thank you.
MAXWELL: Thanks for having us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: 25 hours on the bus. That does it for us. We'll see you again at 11:00 p.m. Eastern. Tune in for another edition of "360". Tune in tomorrow night at 8:00 p.m. Eastern for coverage of the president's immigration address. "Somebody's Got to Do It" with Mike Row starts now.