Return to Transcripts main page

ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

Presidential Call for Calm as People in Ferguson, Missouri and Across the Country Wait for Word of a Grand Jury; Latin Community Reaction to Obama's Executive Order; Allegations against Bill Cosby First Brought Decades Ago; Exoskeletons Make Walking Possible for Paralyzed People

Aired November 21, 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: Good evening. Thanks for joining us.

A lot happening tonight, including the reaction to President Obama's execution action on immigration. He got things started with his signature today and took the sell effort on the road, in fiery campaign style appearance today in Las Vegas. Univision's Jorge Ramos joins us to talk about that.

We begin, though, with the presidential call for calm as people in Ferguson, Missouri and all across the country wait for word on a grand jury which could come tonight on whether Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson should face charges in the shooting death of Michael Brown.

Tonight on ABC News, Mr. Obama was asked how people should react when the decision comes down.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think first and foremost keep protests peaceful. This is a country that allows everybody to express their views, allows them to peacefully assemble, to protest actions that they think are unjust but using any event as an excuse for violence is contrary to rule of law and contrary to who we are.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Whatever the decision is tonight, local, state and federal officials have been preparing for it. Late today we learned the federal ATF has sent in extra personnel including SWAT team members. As you know, Missouri governor jay Nixon has declared a state of emergency and activated a National Guard. Businesses in the main protest site have been boarding up store fronts.

We should point out, tonight is merely the earliest we could get a decision. The grand jury has been hearing evidence for three months now. They only began deliberating today.

For the latest on all of it let's first go to Ed Lavandera in Ferguson.

So, do we know if the grand jury is still deliberating right now?

ED LAVANDERA, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We know they are scheduled to meet. They were hearing from some of the last witnesses and the deliberations would begin. But as we pointed out, you know, grand jury deliberations is unlike a criminal trial, for example. You're not allowed to talk about the case until everything has been presented. Then, you can go to deliberate.

Grand jurors can discuss the case as they go along. So that is why we have been indications that perhaps after all the testimony had been heard that it perhaps wouldn't take that long for a decision to be reached. But so far, we haven't gotten any indication, and we've heard from lawyer of Michael Brown's family saying that they have not gotten any indication either that a decision has been reached -- Anderson.

COOPER: So, as far as -- and we may not know, but I mean, do we know, are they still meeting currently at this hour?

LAVANDERA: As far as -- we don't know exactly if they are still in those deliberations and you know. But, we do know that some of that process has been going on throughout the day.

COOPER: And are they meeting over the weekend?

LAVANDERA: That's hard to say as well. You know, at this point, it's not exactly -- all of this is done under a great deal of secrecy even though, you know, we know a lot more about this process compared to other cases. But they have been meeting on Fridays throughout the last three months. If that will change going into the thanksgiving week, we don't know at this point.

COOPER: I understand local state and federal law enforcement are in the midst of preparations now. What are they doing and how much of that can you actually see?

LAVANDERA: Well, you know, if you go around town there are pictures and you do see a little bit of that law enforcement presence, I think very much behind the scenes. As you mentioned off the top there store fronts that have been boarded up. And we have heard from local authorities that say, you know, they had three months to plan for all this. National Guard troops have been mobilized. We are told that they will be stationed to nearly four dozen locations around the area protecting property. And as you mentioned, you know, from federal authorities all the way on down. It's not Ferguson police that will be in charge of the response. It's St. Louis county police that will be in charge of the response and there's been a great deal of communication. County officials talking today about, you know, how they would be instructed to deal and in certain cases be more patient with protesters depending on the situation. They did say any kind of violence will not be tolerated in any kind of capacity.

COOPER: All right, Ed. Appreciate the reporting. Ed Lavandera.

Joining us now is Brown Family attorney, Benjamin Crump. Mr. Crump, obviously, everyone is waiting for the grand jury results

to come down. I'm sure no one wants to know that decision more than Michael Brown's parents. Have you talked to them tonight? How are they doing?

BENJAMIN CRUMP, MARTIN FAMILY ATTORNEY: Well, as you can imagine, Anderson, it's very emotional. His parents continue to ask people to be peaceful. They want them to try to remember we're talking about their child and nobody could be more frustrated than them. But they are -- it's an emotional roller coaster as they are waiting to hear the decision to see their son's killer would be held accountable.

COOPER: Do you know if the grand jury will continue to meet throughout the weekend?

CRUMP: Normally, Anderson, that's a choice left up to the jury. The court officials would ask them if they want to work through the weekend or they want to come back at the beginning of the week.

COOPER: OK. Do you know where the family plans on being when the decision is announced? If they are going to be in Ferguson?

CRUMP: They plan on being in Ferguson at their homes.

COOPER: And do you know, will you, will their family be getting advance notice of what the outcome is?

CRUMP: Yes, sir. The prosecutor's office has said that they will give notice to the family before they inform the public of the decision of this grand jury.

COOPER: I want to ask you about some comments you made yesterday to CNN. You said that this prosecutor, Robert McCulloch, hasn't met or reached out to Michael Brown's family. Then McCulloch responded saying that he had been in touch or the prosecutor had been in touch with one of your attorneys, Anthony Gray. And that Mr. Gray requested all contact information for family be passed through him. Is that true, to your knowledge? Is that your understanding?

CRUMP: He had been talking to Attorney Gray. The family -- normally, you have a victim's advocate reach out to the family. That was never done with Michael Brown's family. And it was sort of different in cases I've been involved in where somebody from the prosecutor's office don't offer victim services to the family.

COOPER: because Mr. McCulloch also said that he and Ms. Gray had been in constant contact. And that his office has always been available to the family. Do you believe that he to be the case?

CRUMP: Well, the family don't believe that to be the case. I know Attorney Gray as our Missouri council has been in contact with individuals and Mr. McCulloch's office. But the parents have expressed on many occasions their mistrust of the prosecutor's office.

COOPER: Do you know -- have Michael Brown's parents wanted to meet with the prosecutor or asked to meet with the prosecutor? CRUMP: No. What they've asked for is that the prosecutor charge the

killer of their unarmed son to be held accountable for his death. They have -- it's very emotional for them. And so, they wanted the governor to replace the local prosecutor with a special prosecutor because they did not believe that they would get equal justice with this prosecutor's office.

COOPER: Obviously, if the grand jury decides to indict the course of action is clear. If the grand jury chooses not to indict, what then for you? What then for the family?

CRUMP: Certainly, Anderson, we will explore all legal avenues for the family of Michael Brown Junior. And you know, you can imagine how they must feel after three months of losing their child in this terrible way that they are waiting on this decision whether they either will be relieved because they'll have chance at justice or if they come back and return no truth bill for indictment then, it's very likely that the person who killed their unarmed teenage son will never be held accountable.

Obviously, we'll have to wait on the federal government to see what they're going to do. but they really want their Missouri officials to treat the police officer as how they would treat anybody else on these circumstances based on the American constitution.

COOPER: The best chance for any charge -- I mean, for those who want charges brought against Darren Wilson, the best opportunity for that is through this grand jury. You would agree with that, yes? Rather than the federal case?

CRUMP: I think that's historically been the case. It's much more likely for the state to hold somebody accountable versus the federal government. But remember, Anderson, I've said on your program many times before, they didn't have to have a grand jury. This was a choice by the prosecutor to take it to a grand jury. There was enough probable cause existed based on the multiple witnesses saying he had his hands up as well as the forensic evidence.

Probable cause is only the tipping scale. It is not, like the criminal perceive and beyond, a reasonable doubt. If they indict him, he will have his day in court. Nobody is saying he doesn't get his constitutional rights of being innocent until proven guilty. We just want to know if we are going to have chance at justice. And that's why you see the people in Ferguson and all around this country so frustrated because they say why don't we get equal justice for our children when they're dead on the street?

COOPER: Benjamin Crump, appreciate you joining us tonight. Thank you very much.

We are going to talk also to someone from the St. Louis police department to find out exactly what preparations they are being asked to make, Chief Dodson from St. Louis.

Also quick reminder, make sure you set your DVR so you can watch 360 whenever you want. Coming up, more of the evidence, especially the forensic evidence that

the grand jury is considering, just how definitive is it? There's a lot more we know now than we knew several months ago. Our legal panel ways in.

And later, the human impact on President Obama action on enforcing immigration laws, those who say he went too far. Those states are not doing enough. Univision anchor, Jorge Ramos, he joins us tonight.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Again, the breaking news tonight. There's no word yet from the Ferguson grand jury whether they reached a decision, just a lot of getting ready including a beefed up federal presence on the ground there. Jurors have not been sequestered this last three months, we know that. Over that time, information has leaked out about what some witnesses have said in front of the panel. Some of which appears to favor Officer Wilson's account, the shooter (ph).

We do not know, however, how it fits or whether it clashes with other testimony. We don't know how many eyewitnesses or what they have said have actually come forward. Whether those eyewitnesses agree with what other eyewitnesses who have been on television have said or not. We're not sure too much about the forensic evidence than what we've gotten from autopsies. Some investigators, some from an autopsy conducted by have the Brown family and some from the official autopsy.

More on that now tonight from Jason Carroll.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Dr. Michael Baden's testimony isn't the only forensic account of Michael Brown's dead renders will hear. They will also take into account the official report completed by the St. Louis county medical examiner.

Each report reads some similar results. Both concluded Brown was shot at least six times. Both show Brown had a gunshot wound to his right hand. But where the reports differ is key and how it's interpreted could make a huge difference in the case.

The county reports materials were found in Michael Brown's hands. Quote, "consistent with products that are discharge from the barrel of a firearm. In other words, probable gun residue on Brown's hand.

DR. LAWRENCE KOBILINSY, PROFESSOR, JOHN JAY COLLEGE: The significance of that wound is great.

CARROLL: Dr. Lawrence Kobilinsky is a professor of forensic science at John Jay College of criminal justice.

KOBILINSKY: So for this testing, I would say it's consistent with gunshot residue and supports the contention of Darren Wilson that there was a struggle for the gun, very close-in shot.

CARROLL: Ferguson's police chief told CNN in August, Officer Wilson was hurt during a struggle.

CHIEF THOMAS JACKSON, FERGUSON POLICE: The officer was taken to the hospital and treated for swollen face. That's pretty much all I know.

CARROLL: Swollen face. And were you -- did you see the officer's face?

JACKSON: I did not.

CARROLL: But others disagree. One witness, Dorian Johnson, told CNN Brown did struggle, not for officer Wilson's gun, he says, but to get away from him.

DORIAN JOHNSON, MICHAEL BROWN'S FRIEND: Officer then reached out and grabbed his arm to pull him into the car so now it's like the officer is pulling him inside the car and he's trying to pull away. At no time the officer said that he was going to do anything until he pulled out his weapon. His weapon was drawn and he said I'll shoot you or I'm going to shoot. And in the same moment the first shot went off.

CARROLL: As for the final moments whether Brown had his hands up to surrender or whether he was charging at officer Wilson, there are conflicting eyewitness accounts that the grand jury will have to consider like the forensic evidence in this case, much is up for interpretation.

KOBILINSKY: No question about it. You've got to interpret it. And some people will interpret it differently than others. And that's why this is an adversarial system. This is an art. It's not just a science.

CARROLL: Jason Carroll, CNN. New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: I want to bring in our legal analysts, Sunny Hostin and Jeffrey Toobin. Both former federal prosecutors and criminal defense attorney Mark O'Mara.

Mark, you believe that the forensic evidence that's publicly known mostly from the autopsies actually supports officer Wilson. How so?

MARK O'MARA, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, what we know so far is that the forensic evidence is out there including the autopsy seems to show there were shots fired at him to the front. And the shots to the front would suggest that based he wouldn't running away actively. Whether or not he was running towards him is really up to interpretation. But at least that piece of evidence.

And there's some other evidence. The fact that there was a struggle at the car, the injuries to Wilson, the fact this car or two shots in the car doesn't support the shooting of Brown later but could give some indication as to Brown's aggression.

COOPER: There is, according to the family's autopsy, a shot in the back of, I believe the forearm around here from back to front somewhat which would be interpreted as Michael Brown facing away from officer Wilson being shot in the back of the arm and spinning around.

O'MARA: And we have to look at it in context of the other evidence. Because I can move my hand as Mike Brown might have in any number of ways. This could change the (INAUDIBLE). The problem is that we want to fill in all the gaps with speculation and our hopes or thoughts about it. We really have to wait to see it all in context.

COOPER: But it is -- I mean, it is certainly in isolation. It's open to interpretation.

O'MARA: Absolutely.

COOPER: There is other evidence.

Sunny, do you see this as -- do you see the forensic evidence that we know supporting officer Wilson?

SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I don't. And clearly, then, it's up to interpretation. I mean, it seems to me that if you're shooting someone in the front and you look at that evidence in combination with the fact there are witnesses saying he had his hands up in surrender, I think that would support -- would not support officer Wilson.

COOPER: But the forensic evidence, actually, that shot even the family's autopsy says that it's not like palms forward toward officer Wilson. That it's to the side here either maybe running or falling.

HOSTIN: And there are some witnesses that have stated he was, they saw Michael Brown running being hit and sort of jerking and turning around.

So again, it's all open to interpretation. But I think what's so fascinating about it is that all that evidence is in front of the grand jury. And remember, the standard is probable cause that a crime was probably committed. And it's such a very low standard that when you have all of that different evidence all the different interpretations it seems to me that sort of inures to the benefit of indictment.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I just like to put in a word for humility about how much we don't know.

COOPER: Right.

TOOBIN: And -- think about this one issue, how important it is. How far away was Michael Brown when he was shot? That's something that presumably some forensic test could determine which we have not seen those tests. If he is two, three feet away that could certainly support officer Wilson saying he was being attacked. But if he's 20 feet away, that would suggest that officer Wilson was not being threatened. We don't know that evidence.

COOPER: Although, even on that account, if Officer Wilson had already been attacked by Michael Brown at the vehicle, then the distance in the secondary --

TOOBIN: I disagree with that. I don't think so. I think, actually, they can be seen as separate events. And you know, just because there was a confrontation at the car, that doesn't give officer Wilson the right to shoot Michael Brown if he's not a threat.

(CROSSTALK)

O'MARA: It does, however, heighten officer Brown's fear as -- officer Wilson's fear as what he might expect from Brown if he's been aggressive to an officer, number one. And number two, don't forget that cops are trained within 20 feet they can get to you and hurt you before you can react. So that 21-foot rule that cops have is there for a reason.

COOPER: Also, isn't it not just the officer's concern about being attacked but the officer's concern about what somebody may do to others and --

HOSTIN: Danger to the community.

COOPER: It dangers the community. And again, I'm just playing devil's advocate here. But if officer Wilson felt that, OK, he says he's already been attacked, then you could argue or his attorneys could argue that he might fear that Michael Brown might attack others.

HOSTIN: But is that a reasonable fear given the circumstances? I don't know that's a reasonable fear.

TOOBIN: Yes. And unarmed Michael Brown. How much of a threat is he to the broader community? I mean, I don't see that.

O'MARA: I think Wilson is going to have to be able present that the threat was to himself. That Michael Brown turned on him, and that is where the threat was.

HOSTIN: And the thing that I sort of keep going back to is officer Wilson stating that Michael Brown turns around after running and charges towards the bullet. I don't know. In my career, in law enforcement I've never heard a fact pattern where someone runs towards bullets. They generally run away from bullets. So, that's always bothered me about officer Wilson's account.

TOOBIN: But -- I mean, just remember one thing. The jury, the grand jury, has heard from officer Wilson. They have his story. They don't have Mike Brown's story. Because Mike brown is no longer with us. And that could be very helpful to him. Because, you know, you need a story that the jury can understand and they've heard one. And perhaps, it is supported by the evidence.

COOPER: It is also the -- because the public has not heard officer Wilson's account at this point. I mean, people form opinions about officer Wilson without having heard him ever really talk.

HOSTIN: We have heard his account, I think, through his friends.

COOPER: Well, I mean, a secondary person based on --

HOSTIN: We haven't heard from him, but I think we all know at this point what his version of events is.

COOPER: Do you think it was a mistake, Jeff, for officer Wilson not to or his attorneys not to, early on or the police force early on to set out their version of events?

TOOBIN: Not necessarily. I mean, if he winds up not getting indicted it sounds like their strategy would have worked out pretty well. So I just think -- we can't determine the success of a strategy without knowing whether it worked or not.

COOPER: But the question is would it have gotten even this far. I mean, because a lot of it is based on the initial statements by Mr. Johnson who was with, at least for a time, with Mike Brown.

TOOBIN: Yes. But I mean, this is going to get a lot of attention any way. This was a major national event given what happened afterwards, regardless of what was said by Wilson's side.

COOPER: Do we have a time? mark, go ahead.

O'MARA: Well, this was going to a grand jury, no matter what. So, within the context of what a grand a jury --

HOSTIN: Didn't have to go to a grand jury.

O'MARA: This case was going to a grand jury.

HOSTIN: Why?

O'MARA: But probably, it was not going to take on the responsibility of charging or not charging himself. This is the perfect case for a grand jury to make the decision.

Presumably it was going to, I'm not sure that a public persona by Wilson would address what the grand jury did. But I do think it would have been trend how it is perceived in the general public today.

COOPER: And just finally, very quickly. Do we have a timeline on when all the evidence that was presented to the grand jury will actually be released, assuming it's going to be released when judge agrees?

HOSTIN: We don't know, I don't think.

O'MARA: So far, what McCulloch says, he's going to do it as quickly as he can after the release. And we do know that he is preparing that already with the Web site and information.

TOOBIN: We don't know how long the judge will take to make a decision.

COOPER: All right, Sunny Hostin, Mark O'Mara, Jeff Toobin, thanks very much. Coming up next, more in preparation from the top police officials in

St. Louis.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: The breaking news tonight. Step up preparations for an approaching grand jury decision in Ferguson, Missouri. We're talking about action including federal measures and calls for calm including one tonight from President Obama. State and local authorities, as you know, have been getting ready now for weeks.

Joining me is St. Louis police chief Sam Dodson.

Chief Dodson, we just got word that federal law enforcement is boosting their presence in the Ferguson area. The ATF is sending swat teams. Is that something you requested? Is that something you see as needed?

CHIEF SAM DODSON, ST LOUIS POLICE: It's not something I requested. But certainly as we talk about preparations in the area, we have highway patrol, St. Louis county, National Guard. I certainly expected the federal assets to be here as well.

COOPER: How visible will the sort of the swat team presence be? Obviously, there was a lot of concern the last time around about the kind of the foot print of law enforcement on the ground. A lot of protesters felt it made the situation worse.

DODSON: We've heard that. And we've actually had a lot of positive dialogue with protesters over the last couple of weeks. And so, the initial response from law enforcement and when I say initial, initial every day. You'll see police officers in their every day uniform. The uniforms that we wear to work 365 days a year.

Well, law enforcements and I think the community expects us to be prepared, we always have contingency plans. We're not going to put those plans in place and escalate the situation unless there's some real cause to do so. But I think every law enforcement agency around the country, every community is preparing in their own way.

Having the assets here doesn't mean that we've drawn some conclusion or we are going to go immediately to that optic, that visual. It just means that we're prepared.

COOPER: So, as long as the protesters are peaceful and orderly, you don't see a scenario where we see military, you know, style police officers or even police officers pointing shotguns, pointing the rifles at unarmed broadcasters.

DODSON: And that is actually the hope. And that is what we have been working towards. We built some very strong bridges with the coalition, that hands up, don't shoot coalition. We have got some very strong lines of communication. And there are people on their side on the protest side that are working to deescalate the situation. So, we're hoping that pays dividends going forward. So, just because there are protests doesn't mean that you're going to see that military style presence. Those types of -- that type of equipment is really here to keep people safe.

COOPER: As you said you've been working with the coalition, the Don't Shoot Group of Protesters. And you said that both sides have agreed on at least 12 out of 19 proposed rules. And I'm wondering about the other seven. Can you talk about what hasn't been agreed upon what things - they want that you feel is inappropriate.

DOTSON: The first one is, they wanted to dictate what police officers wore in - on West Florissant or in the city of St. Louis. They didn't want to see riot equipment and things like that. And what our commitment was is that we would come out just as I said, every day in our regular clothes. But if we needed personal protective gear for our police officers certainly that's something that we would use. They also talked about the militarization, if you will. And again, those are things that keep people safe. And so, while the optics are hard and may not be pleasant sometimes, that equipment during its whole period has kept people safe. A riot helmet has never hurt anyone. The presence of an armored vehicle has never hurt anyone. They have agitated a crowd a little bit, but our goal is to keep people safe. Keep peep safe, protect property. And the constitutional rights of the protesters, so they can have their voice heard.

They ask us to give them 48 hours' notice for the prosecutor when the grand jury decision was coming back. That's not ours to give away. That's the prosecutor's. So, some things like that. But those were the big ones. Dress, militarization and prosecutors 48 hour notice.

COOPER: Governor Nixon, obviously, has deployed the National Guard announcing it pretty early on. Do you know exactly how they are going to be used? Because the last time there really was not a very much of a visible presence. Their numbers were pretty small. They were pretty much at the command post around Ferguson, not out on the streets as some people had thought they might be. This time around do you know how it's going to be?

DOTSON: And that's a great question. And I'll start by saying what they're not going to be used for. They're not going to be used on the front line to supplement law enforcement. They're going to do mundane jobs like command post security, protecting police stations, protecting courthouses. That's really what they're used for. And what that means is, is those officers that were in those jobs can now be put out in the community whether to deal with protest and demonstrations or to help our community feel a little safer. As you can imagine any community that's going through this, there's a lot of anxiety, a lot of tension. And I go to neighborhood meeting after neighborhood meeting every night. And people just want to know they're safe.

COOPER: Chief, I appreciate your time tonight. Thank you.

DOTSON: Thank you very much.

COOPER: Well, just ahead tonight, amid fierce Republican criticism President Obama speaks out in Las Vegas about his new executive action on immigration reform. He's getting strong reaction from the Latino community. I'll speak with Univision anchor Jorge Ramos next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Welcome back. House Speaker John Boehner says by issuing executive action on immigration President Obama is sabotaging any chance of getting other reforms he wants. And damaging the presidency itself. Today, the president signed two memos associated with executive action on Air Force One. The measure will let up to 5 million undocumented immigrants stay in the country temporarily. At a speech in Las Vegas the president continued to push for legislators to pass a bill on more lasting immigration reform.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: We're going to keep on working with members of Congress to make permanent reform a reality, but until that day comes there are actions that I have the legal authority to take that will help make our immigration system more fair and more just and this morning I began to take some of those actions.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Now, this, of course, huge news in the Latino community, especially Univision News and Fusion anchor Jorge Ramos joins me tonight.

Jorge, I heard you say last night that you believe the president is paying a debt to the Latino community. What kind of a response have you heard today from people?

JORGE RAMOS, ANCHOR, UNIVISION NEWS AND FUSION: Well, it's amazing. He actually changed the lives of 4 million people. This morning many immigrant parents told their kids I'll see you tonight. And for the first time in years or in decades, it's true. I can measure it not only with the ratings. Last night it was amazing, millions of people watched it on Spanish language television. But also he's making a precedent here. I honestly think that President Barack Obama pay a debt to the Latino community. Remember that he promised in 2008 that he was going to present immigration reform during his first year in office. He didn't keep his promise for many different reasons when he had the opportunity. Now he finally delivered.

COOPER: There's a lot though that - that this does not do. There's a lot of people who will not be covered by this, whose lives will not be changed by this. Do you think it goes far enough?

RAMOS: No, it doesn't go far enough and it's not an amnesty. And it is not what the Senate has proposed as immigration reform. Obviously, it would have been much better if Congress, both Democrats and Republicans had worked together and do something about it. But Republicans kept the Senate plan for 500 days and they didn't move on that. So, I think the president was pushed not only by the inaction of Republicans, but also by Latino organizations, Hispanic politicians, journalists, to do something about it. I think honestly also that President Barack Obama changed his point of view. He told me and he told many people that he believed he didn't have the legal authority to do something about it. That he was not a king, that he was not an emperor. And at the end, I think President Obama's position shift. It evolved. And then at the end he decided to go ahead with this. It is not enough. It is not exactly what we wanted but it was also not something given to us. It's exactly what we fought for. And still seven million more are, their lives are still pending.

COOPER: I mean that's one of the things he's been criticized for is the comments he made to you and to other journalists saying, you know, I don't have the legal authority to do this. I mean you know, we played this yesterday. He said this many times. I'm not an emperor. Do you think he actually changed his opinion of the legality of it or do you think he just got so frustrated that he chose to act anyway?

RAMOS: Well, I think he changed his position. He told me and he told many people, many times, not just one time, that he didn't have the legal authority to stop deportations. The White House is giving us a different interpretation. They're saying that actually he was referring to immigration reform. That he couldn't impose immigration reform. That's for sure. However, his comments were related to the legal authority to stop deportations. I honestly think that President Barack Obama evolved. That he changed his point of view. We probably convince him there was a lot of pressure from the Hispanic community to do something about it. And at the end Republicans push him to the edge. They didn't do anything about it. And I honestly think that President Barack Obama wanted to keep his promise and he ended up doing something that at the beginning he wasn't comfortable doing and that now it seems that he's completely convinced.

COOPER: Jorge Ramos, great to have you on again. Thank you so much.

RAMOS: Thanks, Anderson.

COOPER: And for all you tweeting me right now, yes, I know, we look an awful lot alike. It's great to have him on.

One other note involving the Obama administration, and the bitter politically polarizing emotionally loaded tragedy two years ago in Benghazi. Four Americans died in the attack there, of course. Republican lawmakers turned into a large campaign issue. They held hearing after hearing looking into the affair. Late today, in a very quiet document dump the Friday before Thanksgiving, the GOP controlled House intelligence committee released their report. The bottom line weak security at the American compounds. However the report found no wrong doing by the Obama administration appointees. No intelligence failure, no delay in sending a CIA rescue team, no missed opportunity for a military rescue and no evidence that the CIA was cowardly shipping arms from Libya to Syria.

Up next, more women speaking out claiming Bill Cosby sexually assaulted them. The question is, has the legendary comedian being leading a double life for decades? We have a timeline on the accused.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COOPER: New fallout tonight for Bill Cosby as he faces even more allegations that he sexually assaulted women. His performance next Friday at a Las Vegas casinos canceled, but a standup comedy show is to go tonight in Melbourne, Florida. In fact, it's happening right now.

Even as two more women came forward in the past 24 hours sharing their allegations against Cosby. The story is piling up, go back decades, and Cosby has refused to talk about the scandal himself. The question is how did he maintain his persona of America's lovable TV dad while in real life allegedly behaving much more differently - much differently. Gary Tuchman has the time line.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: 1967, the earliest known allegation against Bill Cosby. Carla Ferrigno, now wife of "Incredible Hulk" star Lou Ferrigno, claims Cosby forcibly kissed her at his home. She was an 18-year-old "Playboy" Bunny at the time, and was at the male friend, when she says he grabbed her roughly and kissed her. This time period is when Cosby was on the rise in Hollywood. A star in the hit TV series "I Spy." He was one of the first African-American leads of any network TV show. From "I Spy" Cosby moved onto his first sitcom starting in 1969. It was called the "Bill Cosby Show." He played a high school P.E. teacher, and that was a period of time when this woman, Linda Joy Traitz says she was attacked by Cosby. Traitz who has been convicted in recent years of fraud and drug related offenses says she was fresh out of high school and working as a waitress in California when Cosby offered her a ride home and kept offering her pills which she says she refused.

LINDA JOY TRAITZ: I was crying and he said I'll take you home. I'll take you home. You know, at that point. I was not raped but I was groped and terrorized.

TUCHMAN: The same year Joan Tarshis claims she was drugged and raped by Cosby. She was a 19-year-old aspiring comedy writer at the time.

JOAN TARSHIS: I passed out. I woke up or came to very groggily with him removing my underwear.

TUCHMAN: The next year Tamara Green, an aspiring model, claimed Cosby gave her pills she thought were cold medication and tried to rape her.

BILL COSBY: Never eat Jell-O pudding - you know why?

TUCHMAN: For 25 years starting in 1974 Bill Cosby was a spokesman for Jell-O. And from 1984 to '92, he was America's favorite dad on one of the most successful shows in TV history. "The Cosby Show." And around that time at least two more women say they were assaulted by him. Former super model Janice Dickinson and a teenage actress and model Barbara Bowman who alleged she was drugged and sexually assaulted by Cosby on numerous occasions.

COSBY: He looked at me and said, you know, I brought you in this world, I'll take you out. (LAUGHTER)

TUCHMAN: His stand up career continued to thrive into the 2000s. New TV projects planned and during this time period came Andrea Constand, a staffer for the Temple University basketball team, Cosby's alma mater. She filed a civil suit against Cosby alleging he abused her. Cosby agreed to a settlement to the suit which ultimately included similar allegations from 13 other women. Bill Cosby's attorney has released this statement about the slew of accusations. "Over the past several weeks, decade old discredited allegations against Mr. Cosby have resurfaced. The fact they are being repeated does not make them true. Back in 1969, Cosby recorded a comedy routine in which he talked about a childhood conversation with the 13-year old friend, in which the topic was drugging a girl.

COSBY: You know anything about Spanish fly? No, tell me about it. Well, there's this girl crazy Mary. You put some in her drink. Man, she - Yeah, Spanish fly. Yeah, that's really groovy, man. Spanish fly is groovy, yeah. A lot of laughter when he recorded it. Not so much now. Gary Tuchman, CNN.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: I think it's really important and bears repeating Mr. Cosby has never been charged in connection with any of these allegations. My next guest says, he broke the story about the rape allegations years ago, it was largely ignored. Joining me is Mark Ebner, a contributor for "The Daily Beast." His latest postings for them has been titled, I warned you about Bill Cosby back in 2007. Mark, good to have you on the program. Why do you think your story seven years ago did not get more traction?

MARK EBNER, CONTRIBUTOR, THE DAILY BEAST: I think it's just indicative of the way, partially because the media likes to protect celebrities to a large degree, and I also think that they were also afraid of getting sued. Not only that, but to give you an example of how the media didn't respond to my story, I went to the AP news wire with it. And they fired - I showed them the story. I had three sources. I did my job as a journalist and they responded we don't want to libel Mr. Cosby. And, you know, my reaction was well, your kind of attacking my integrity as a journalist, you know, for doing my job by responding like that. So, I was stonewalled in 2007. Not so much now.

COOPER: So, you had three sources. Three of the alleged victims, I understand. The people you pitched the story to, did they not believe it was the truth or do you think they just didn't want to believe it because it was about Bill Cosby or concerned about lawsuits?

EBNER: The latter. They didn't -- because it was about Bill Cosby, I'm sure that was the reason. Yeah. And you know what's disturbing, Anderson, is even almost as much as Mr. Cosby's refusal to address these allegations is the lawyers response. First of all, discrediting - saying all these women are discredited. They are not discredited. First of all, number one. Second of all, to put journalists like us on notice, Marty Singer, Bill Cosby's lawyer came right out and said for us to report on this we're doing so at our own peril. You know, this is bothersome too when it should be Mr. Cosby addressing the issue.

COOPER: You claim that at least one tabloid "News Outlet" used the allegations against Bill Cosby as a bargaining chip. How so?

EBNER: Yeah, that's fact. A reporter named Robin Mizrahi was working the desk at the national enquirer. She was there for nine years. She had a source that came to her who made similar claims as to the other - there was like a dozen at the time. She - Robin had her take a lie detector test, which is something that the tabloids do. She passed the lie detector test. Robin wrote up a report and what they did was they buried that and they set up a kind of a claim - meeting with Mr. Cosby down in Texas in a hotel room where they traded suppression of that story for an exclusive interview with Mr. Cosby that would thank them for their assistance in helping them find his son's murder. This is - you know, it's reported in "The Guardian" today. This is - that that's how it was handled. They suppressed the story. They protected Mr. Cosby.

COOPER: Mark Ebner, I appreciate you being on. We'll continue to follow. Thank you very much.

Up next, a paralyzed Marine who vowed to walk to receive his bronze star. He kept his promise. An amazing story. When we continue.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: In tonight's "American Journey," a Marine honored today for bravery on and off the battlefield. Captain Derek Herrera was wounded in Afghanistan. A bullet leaving him paralyzed. But with the help of robotic device never before used by an American today he was actually able to stand tall.

Kyung Lah has the story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What makes Marine Special Operations Captain Derek Herrera a hero is not just his actions on the battlefield.

CAPT. DEREK HERRERA, 1ST MARINE SPECIAL OPERATIONS BATTALION: I was on the rooftop observing some suspicious activity, and the valley ...

LAH: It was just after sunrise, June 14th, 2012, he was leading a patrol in Afghanistan's Helmand province.

HERRERA: And all of a sudden, I just felt kind of a pulsing sensation on my back.

LAH: It was an ambush. A bullet from an AK-47 lodged in his spine.

HERRERA: As I was lying there, immediately knew and had some pain and just kind of almost felt like electrical stimulation just kind of pulsing through my back. LAH: Everything in your life has changed very suddenly.

HERRERA: There was. Yeah. In an instant, you know, and it's one way it would have missed me completely, and it's the other way, it would have gone straight to my heart and killed me.

LAH: Months of rehabilitation would follow. A new battle for the officer adjusting to being completely paralyzed from the chest down.

HERRERA (on camera): Overtime I came to realize that of the many friends that I've had who've made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation. Any one of those guys would be happy to be in my position and continue to leave a life.

LAH: One of those guys, Captain Matthew Manukian (ph), a friend whose name he wears in bronze.

(voice over): Tell me about your bracelet.

HERRERA: I wear that every day just to try to remind myself and try to have a small visible reminder of the sacrifices that these guys have made and remind myself that, you know, that I have a gift and I'm happy to be here and still able to continue to move forward.

LAH: And moving forward is literally what he is doing. Just needs a little help. This is the rewalk exoskeleton. An FDA approved $70,000 wearable robotic device that powers Herrera's hip and knee motion. It allows him to walk on his own. The first American to own one.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The president of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the bronze star medal to Captain Derek J. Herrera.

LAH: Now, the first paralyzed service member to stand and walk as he receives his bronze star with valor.

HERRERA: I've been able to stand and receive this award, which is kind of - It will be a symbol and show others that I'm not out of fight.

LAH: Captain Herrera retires out of the service today. His next battle already under way. Kyung Lah, CNN, Camp Hamilton.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: He's definitely not out of the fight. Thanks very much, the Washington program tonight "This is Life" with Lisa Ling starts now.