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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

New U.S. Offensive Begins in Iraq; More Deaths Tied to G.M. Defects; New Details in Peterson Abuse Case; Reaction To Ray Rice Scandal; Did Rice Get Celebrity Justice?; Remembering David Haines; Code Words in Terrorist Communication; Crackdown on Christians in China

Aired September 15, 2014 - 21:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


ANDERSON COOPER, AC360 HOST: Good evening. Thanks for joining us and thanks for watching this special extended edition of 360.

We start the hour with breaking news. Defensive operations against ISIS have just begun and they're not starting where some expected them to.

Chief National Security Correspondent Jim Sciutto joins us now with late developments.

So what are you hearing about these U.S. airstrikes, they're near Baghdad. How near?

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, one near Baghdad, very close, just Southwest of the city in a strongly Sunni area that has been a stronghold for ISIS fighters, in fact for Sunni insurgents going back 10 years. That's one place.

They also struck an ISIS convoy in the North, in Sinjar. And what's different about these is these are the first strikes since the president announced expanded military operations in Iraq and outside those original two very limited categories. One, of protecting U.S. personnel in Iraq and two, of protecting minorities who came under threat from ISIS.

So in the beginning, the U.S. officials tell me of a more aggressive phase in this air campaign.

COOPER: And let's talk about the coalition that the U.S. is trying to assemble to fight ISIS.

SCIUTTO: Well, you have some public commitments coming through. You have, for instance, Australia is sending fighter jets as well as military advisors, Canada is sending military advisors, the British sending arms to the Kurds and you have the French agreeing not only to surveillance flights over Iraq but also to carry out airstrikes, the interesting light of the fact that France of course did not come on board with the 2003 invasion. And then from Arab countries, you have private commitments.

I'm told by a senior U.S. military official today that more than one Arab country has agreed to carry out so-called Kinetic activity, these are airstrikes against ISIS positions. But what you're going to see -- you're not going to see the Arab nations advertising that support, there's too much disagreement and criticism at home but I am told they are coming on board. That said, you know, the U.S. is really going to be doing the lion sheer of this from the air with Iraqi and Kurdish forces doing the bulk of their work on the ground.

COOPER: Even the Western European nations, we should point out, I mean, France has paid ISIS ransom for some of their hostages. So they're going to partake but it's the U.S. really leading the way on this thing.

SCIUTTO: No question. Leading the way from the air, leading the way with leading this coalition, leading the way with the investment of military assets, you know, once again, the U.S. finds itself in the lead in a war in Iraq.

COOPER: All right, Jim Sciutto, thanks very much.

Now, one woman's personal, an illegal nightmare. It's been going on for more than a decade. It began when she got behind the wheel of her car, that car one of 2.6 million recalled by General Motors for a problem that could make some of them dangerous and in some cases deadly. And so for hundreds of people who have put in debt in the entry claims against General Motors. Today, the lawyer hired to manage the compensation fund tied more debts to the defect and he says he expects the number to rise yet again.

Candice Anderson was connected to one of those fatalities. Now, as you're going to see in Poppy Harlow's report, however, money maybe the least of her problems.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CANDICE ANDERSON, DRIVER OF 2004 SATURN ION THAT CRASHED: The past 10 years I had been in a form of a prison.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Michael Erickson was Candace Anderson's first love.

ANDERSON: I can still hear his laugh, which is a big laughter.

HARLOW: And Rhonda Erickson's only child.

RHONDA ERICKSON, SON KILLED 2004 SATURN ION COLLISION: There's gifts on the wall that he gave me. There's -- he's everywhere in this house.

HARLOW: The father of two young daughters, Sierra and Savannah.

ERICKSON: He'll never walk them down the aisle. He'll never -- he can't go and see, you know, their ball games and their achievement.

HARLOW: November 15th 2004, everything changed.

Candice and her boyfriend Michael are in a major car crash. Candace is behind the wheel and is severely injured. Michael doesn't survive.

ANDERSON: I was through the windshield on the hood of the car and then his face was faced down on my lap.

HARLOW: Candice Anderson pleaded guilty to criminal negligent homicide. Only this year, a decade later, she learned it may not have been all her fault.

You were being prosecuted as a murderer. What did people in this town call you?

ANDERSON: I've been told a couple of times point black to my face that I was a murderer, that I killed him.

HARLOW: Candice could not have been prouder the day she bought her brand new 2004 Saturn Ion.

ANDERSON: It's this one right here.

HARLOW: This is the tree you hit?

Less than nine months later, it crashed on this East Texas country road.

ANDERSON: That was the day that my old life ended.

ERICKSON: Two police cars and a neighbor pulled up in my yard and you kind of know what that is, a mother does and it's just like your whole world crashes right there.

HARLOW: The police report says neither Candice nor Michael was wearing a seatbelt. The airbags did not deploy.

Do you ever have moments when you think, "Why did I survive?"

ANDERSON: Yeah, I thought that way the whole 10 years.

HARLOW: After the crash, Xanax was found in Candice's system. She was not prescribed the drug but said she took one pill the night before.

The police report says Candice's intoxication resulted in the accident.

ANDERSON: I did have a minimal amount of Xanax, that's not a question. Do I think I was intoxicated that day? No, I wasn't intoxicated.

HARLOW: But the authorities disagreed and she was indicted on a felony charge of intoxication manslaughter facing up to 20 years in prison. Later, she pleaded guilty to criminal negligent homicide, a felony and was sentenced to five years probation and fined.

But just this year, G.M. recalled millions of cars for a defective ignition switch which can suddenly turn the engine off while driving disabling the airbags, power steering and anti-lock breaks. Candice's 2004 Saturn Ion was one of those.

At least 19 people died as a result but G.M. won't release those names to the public.

After news of the recalls, Michael's mother contacted the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration who told her that her son is one of those deaths.

ERICKSON: They let somebody else take the blame for something that they knew at that time was their fault.

HARLOW: G.M. replied to that allegation saying, "It is putting the customer and their safety first."

You may never have known.

ANDERSON: I don't believe I ever would've known.

HARLOW: Did G.M. ever reached out to you? Did they ever tell you?

ANDERSON: I still haven't heard from them.

HARLOW: In fact, as this all dragged on for Candice Anderson, there is proof General Motors saw signs of the problem and didn't fix it.

In 2004, the same year as Candice's crash, G.M. engineers were investigating inadvertent ignition switch offs. But this internal investigation now shows G.M. didn't identify the problem as a safety issue and didn't fix it. They called it " a convenience issue'".

In 2006, as Candice was indicted and faced 20 years in prison, G.M.'s own document show the defective switch was improved but those investigating the cause of the crashes weren't told about the changes delaying them for years from getting to the root of the problem and from recalling the cars they should have.

And in 2007, the same year Candice pleaded guilty to felony charges, G.M. did their own internal investigation into her crash calling it "unusual" and noted the airbags should have deployed. Like Candice and Michael's mother say, G.M. never told them.

Despite all these warning signs, G.M. didn't issue a recall for the defective switch until this year. While G.M. acknowledges widespread incompetence and neglect, the company says there was no cover up.

ANDERSON: I'm fighting for my justice. I want vindication. I want them to say, you know, I want people to know that it was the car and it wasn't me.

HARLOW: Peter Asplund is the state trooper who arrived at the scene of the crash. He filed intoxication manslaughter charges against Candice.

PETER ASPLUND, FORMER TEXAS STATE TROOPER: I think it's important not to gloss over any mistakes that were made or any wrong that might have been done. If a corporation withholds information and then that results in very unsafe conditions, that's terrible. But there was still an individual driving while intoxicated.

HARLOW: While Asplund says it would be his duty to file the same charges today, he believes Candice may not have even been prosecuted if they knew her car was defective.

ASPLUND: It may have changed everything for Candice and it may have changed everything for Michael.

HARLOW: And Candice has lived with immense guilt over Michael's death for nearly 10 years.

ANDERSON: My name is Candice Anderson and I'm a survivor of the G.M. ignition defect.

HARLOW: Now, her fight is to get that conviction off her record and she's got some in Washington on her side.

SENATOR RICHARD BLUMENTHAL, (D) CONNECTICUT: Ms. Barra, will you recommend to the Governor of Texas that he pardoned Ms. Anderson?

MARY BARRA, CEO, GENERAL MOTORS: We will provide information to support that decision but I don't think it's in -- it's not something that I think is appropriate for me to do. I don't have all the facts to the case.

BLUMENTHAL: You know, with all due respect, that answer really is unworthy of G.M. I hope you'll think more about it because this is a young woman whose life has really been changed as a result of a perversion of the justice process, as a result of G.M. knowing and concealing that she was innocent.

HARLOW: Now, even the former district attorney who prosecuted Anderson is fighting for her. In a letter recommending a full pardon she writes, "It is my opinion that no action or omission of Ms. Anderson was the cause of the accident." She also writes, "If she had all the evidence from General Motors, she would have stopped the prosecution."

Every November 15th, Candice Anderson comes here. There's no headstone yet. Rhonda Erickson hasn't been able to bring herself to lay one.

ERICKSON: It's not an easy task. It's like, you know, letting go of all the pieces.

HARLOW: G.M.'s CEO Mary Barra has apologized to victims and their families.

BARRA: I am deeply sorry.

HARLOW: And a victim compensation fund has been set up. Candice and Rhonda have applied for payment from that and for now have put their lawsuit against G.M. on hold but they may still sue G.M. in the future.

Do you think that some individuals of General Motor should be criminally prosecuted?

ANDERSON: I was because of my negligence. I think that if a 21-year- old girl is charged with negligent homicide and has to go to the motions that there should be someone held criminally responsible. I do. I do believe that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Unbelievable story.

Poppy Harlow joins us now. I mean, 10 years of her life taken, the love of her life taken, this mother lost a child. Let's talk about this intoxication that she was...

HARLOW: Right.

COOPER: ... charged with. She had no alcohol in her system.

HARLOW: None.

COOPER: She had taken one Xanax...

HARLOW: The night before.

COOPER: ... the night before and this happened around noon the next day?

HARLOW: It did. So technically it's .12 milligrams per liter of Xanax. That means nothing to any of us. But to the law there's no legal limit for Xanax. So a police officer can determine if they think you are impaired or not, it affects everyone differently. What's your tolerance? Have you taken it before? How much do you weigh? How much did you eat? It was determined that these charges should be brought forth. But if you heard in the piece, they said if they had known that the car was...

COOPER: Right.

HARLOW: ... possibly defective they would never prosecuted her.

COOPER: It's incredible. I mean, she did plead guilty.

HARLOW: She did. And we asked her why because we looked through the paper work, the pretrial paper work and she had indicated on it that she was going to plead not guilty but she was 20 years old, she was facing 20 years possibly in prison and her advice from her attorney was to take the deal five years probation, pay a fine but have a permanent felony on your record. That is better than possibly going to jail for up to 20 years. So that is why she said she did plead guilty. Now, she's still fighting. She still has that felony on the record.

COOPER: And given that G.M. was hiding the information about the vehicle, she could've very easily gone to prison, if there was no evidence.

HARLOW: She could've. She could've gone to prison.

COOPER: Wow. That's just incredible.

HARLOW: Now they're going to put this pardon request through the courts in Texas and we'll see what the courts do. They can pardon her. The governor can pardon her.

COOPER: Right.

HARLOW: Or they might not.

COOPER: Well, let's keep following it. Poppy Harlow, thanks so much. It's an incredible story.

Coming up next, the NFL's Adrian Peterson speaking about the child abuse charge that he is facing as the Minnesota Vikings OK him to play again. Late details on the case when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Hey, welcome back.

New developments tonight in the Adrian Peterson story that people have been talking over -- ever since the Texas grand jury indicted the Minnesota running back late last week on a felony child abuse charge.

Now, to remind you, this is what he did to his son with a switch, a tree branch, the child is just four years old. Now the injuries included cuts on his thighs, buttocks as well as his scrotum.

Today, three days after benching him in less than 24 hours after a loss at the New England Patriots, the Vikings cleared him to play next weekend. At the same time, Peterson through his lawyer released a statement saying he did what he did out of love and according to the way he himself was raised. And now, it's a style of parenting many say they recognize are actually lived through whether they endorse it now or not.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CRIS CARTER, ESPN ANALYST: This is the 21st century, my mom was wrong. She did the best she could but she was wrong about some of that stuff she taught me. And I promised my kids I won't teach that mess to them. You can't beat a kid to make them do what they want to do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's correct

CARTER: The only thing I'm proud about is the team that I played for, they did the right thing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

CARTER: Take them off the field. I don't care where -- are we in a climate right now? I don't care what it is. Take him off the dang-on field because you know what? As a man, that's the only thing we really respect. We don't respect no women. We don't respect no kids. The only thing Roger and them can do, take them off the field because they respect that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Some of the reactions of sports television. There's plenty more playing out. More on the story now from Ed Lavandera.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The pictures are startling. Skin lacerations inflicted by Adrian Peterson on his four-year-old son. The professional football star called it a whipping using a thin tree branch 10 to 15 times. Texas prosecutor say it is child abuse.

PHIL GRANT, ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY: A grand jury having indicted this case looked at the injuries that were inflicted upon this child and determined that that discipline was not reasonable and did not reflect the community standard of what was reasonable discipline.

LAVANDERA: We've also learned new details of text messages Peterson allegedly sent the boy's mother in Minnesota after the lashing.

Peterson wrote, "He felt bad after the fact when I noticed the switch was wrapping around hitting the thigh." Another text was more graphic. "Got him in the nuts once I noticed but I felt so bad. I'm all tearing that butt up when needed. I start putting them in timeout to save the whopping for needed memories." And in a later message, Peterson wrote, "Never do I go overboard but all my kids will know hey daddy has the biggie heart but don't play no games when it comes to acting right."

Nick Wright is a sports radio talk show host in Houston where Adrian Peterson lives part of the year. He's familiar with the new and extensive details in the Peterson police report. According to Wright, the incident happened after the little boy had pushed another of Peterson's children off of a motorcycle video game.

NICK WRIGHT, SPORTS RADIO 610: He called it a standard whooping. He said the only parts of this that were different from usual were when the switch wrapped around the child's leg and cut the cut the front of his leg and the one that hit the child on the genital was like, he said -- aside from that, he was asked by police, "Are the marks on the child, you know, worse than usual?" And he said, "On his butt? No." He said, "On his butt, that's, you know, that's what a whooping is."

LAVANDERA: Wright says the little boy also told police he was scared of his father that he was often punished in what the boy described as the whooping room and that Peterson had lots of belts. The boy talked about his father putting leaves in his mouth while he was lashed.

Wright also says Peterson spoke with investigators in a 40-minute phone conversation where he justified disciplining his son with this kind of force.

WRIGHT: You listen to the audio of Adrian Peterson with the police and he comes across, honestly, as a loving parent who truly believes he was doing what was right for his son, who feels badly about too specific unintentional injuries. Adrian Peterson is very self assured that he -- not only loves his children but that this type of discipline, at least he sounded self assured at the time, that this type of discipline was necessary and this type of discipline was more mild than the discipline he received that helps turn him into the man that he is today.

LAVANDERA: In a statement, Adrian Peterson wrote that after meeting with a psychologist, "...there are other alternative ways of disciplining a child that may be more appropriate. I am without a doubt not a child abuser." And after missing only one game, the Minnesota Vikings announced that Adrian Peterson will be back on the football field this coming weekend.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: What else did Peterson say when he spoke to investigators?

LAVANDERA: Well, Nick Wright told us that, you know, he made that phone and as Adrian Peterson said today, he spoke with authorities and investigators over the phone for about 40 minutes or so and Adrian Peterson said in his statement that he did this against the advice of his attorney. But he also did mentioned that this wasn't the only time that he had doled out a severe punishment to this son during that visit back in May that he had there. And it was according to Nick Wright from what he was able to gather from the information at hand is that the authorities didn't know about that second punishment but Adrian Peterson told them about it.

COOPER: All right. Ed, thanks very much.

Up next, the bottom line impacted this and the Ray Rice story on Peterson-Rice and the NFL.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: The Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson cases have had a major effect on major league baseball. We have breaking news tonight.

USA today reports that Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig says the league and the players union have scheduled a meeting this week to talk about a domestic violence policy in the wake of those scandals. They don't have one. And the Ray Rice incident will affect the NFL in the long term remains to be seen of course but it has already had a huge impact on some NFL fans and sportscasters.

Here's what ESPN anchor, Hanna Storm said on SportsCenter yesterday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HANNA STORM, ESPN SPORTSCENTER ANCHOR: One of my daughters has her first fantasy football team this season but at breakfast this week, instead of discussing how our team was doing we watched the Ray Rice video play out again in all its ugliness. I spend this week answering seemly impossible questions about the leagues' biggest starts. "Mom, why did he do that? Why is he in jail? Why didn't he get fired?" And yesterday, "Why don't they even have control of their own players?" So here's a question. What does all of this mean for the future?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Well, Rice has lost major sponsorships but the league as a whole still has a lot of money coming in from some of the biggest companies in the country. At least one ad campaign that was geared toward women has been targeted.

Alexandra Field reports.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A black eye on one of the NFL's big sponsors, an ad for CoverGirl's NFL game day makeup line, mocked up to look like this. The altered picture going viral, it speaks to the outrage a lot of fans are feeling but don't expect the NFL sponsors to join the chorus.

MARC GANIS, SPORTS CORPORATION LTD. PRESIDENT: This kind of thing really doesn't put pressure. It's the kind of thing we see constantly these days. People can be very creative in what they ultimately put on the Internet. But it really does not have an adverse effect on either the NFL or on the sponsors.

FIELD: The NFL is the richest sports league in the world, raking in 10.5 billion last year. And Commissioner Roger Goodell earns more than any of his star players. In 2012 alone, he made over 44 million.

Despite controversies surrounding four star players in the last two weeks, two key sponsors are voicing their support for the commissioner and the league. Verizon CEO, Lowell McAdam saying, "We're very supportive of the NFL and we are going to wait and see how the facts play out here but I'm at this point, satisfied with the actions they've taken."

And this statement from PepsiCo, "Domestic violence is completely unacceptable. We are encouraged to see the NFL is now treating this with a seriousness it deserves."

Sponsors include big name companies including FedEx, Anheuser-Busch, Microsoft and yes, Procter & Gamble, the parent company of CoverGirl, a company that despite this PR nightmare shows no signs of abandoning its deal with the league.

Sponsorship deals for an individual player, however, can get pulled quickly. Nike and EA Sports, the makers of the Madden NFL video game abruptly ended endorsement deals with Running Back Ray Rice after video was released of him knocking out his then fiancee Janay Palmer.

For its part, the NFL is taking steps to show sponsors and the public that it's responding in a serious way to instances of violence involving players. Commissioner Roger Goodell announcing that the league has hired four women to help shape their domestic violence policy.

That has it silenced the cries from advocacy groups like UltraViolet which flew banner planes over NFL stadium saying, "Goodell must go". But for now, it may be getting big time sponsors enough confidence to stay in business with the league.

Alexandra Field, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Well, Ray Rice now facing professional and financial punishment. He will not, however, face any additional legal sanctions. He went through a pretrial diversion program for first time offenders. Not everyone though gets that chance and the question is, does celebrity play a part and who does?

Here is the story from the exact same jurisdiction, the exact same prosecutor in fact but a very different outcome. Let's see what you think about it.

Randi Kaye explains.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RANDI KAYE, CNN REPORTER: Shaneen Allen was driving in New Jersey when she was stopped by a police for a simple traffic violation. In the car with her, her brand new handgun.

SHANEEN ALLEN, ARRESTED FOR BRINGING GUN ACROSS STATE LINES: When in went into my purse to give them my license and my registration, I also gave him my license to carry with it that's why I told him I have my firearm on me.

KAYE: Trouble is, Shaneen's license to carry was for her home state of Pennsylvania, just across state lines from where she was pulled over in New Jersey. She says, she had no idea it didn't transfer state to state. She had just bought the gun a week earlier after being mugged.

Still, this single mother of two was handcuffed and arrested on the spot, charged with both illegal position of a firearm and possession of hollow point ammunition. She's now facing more than 11 years in prison.

How worried are you about going to prison?

ALLEN: Very worried. I'm worried every minute, everyday. I have to worry about where my kids are going to go. What is going to happen to them?

KAYE: This is the man looking to put Shaneen in prison. Atlantic County Prosecutor Jim McClain, the very same man who choose not to prosecute Baltimore Ravens star, Ray Rice. Rice was charged in the same county with aggravated assault. He's pleaded not guilty and applied for a special intervention program that gives arrestees a chance to wipe their record clean. In May, prosecutor McClain approved Rice for that program.

The Pretrial Intervention Program or PTI as it's called allows first time offenders to avoid prison and probation. Those accepted into the program have to get counseling, do community service and stay out of trouble. Once the program is complete all charges are dropped.

Rice was facing up to five years in prison when he got into the PTI program. Shaneen is facing more than double that, yet a month before clearing Ray Rice for the PTI program, Prosecutor McClain refused Shaneen's request to enter the same program.

Why do you think the prosecutor denied you access into the program?

ALLEN: He's trying to be tough on guns and use me as an example. The PTI program was for first time offenders, for me and that's what I should've got.

KAYE: Prosecutor McClain declined our request for an interview but his office gave us this statement. Mr. Rice received the same treatment by the criminal justice system in Atlantic County that any first time offender has in similar circumstances adding the decision was correct.

Are you angry?

ALLEN: Very angry. I'm frustrated. I think that our situation should be switched and I should've got PTI and, you know, he should've got years in prison. So he definitely got to a pass.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KAYE: And now, we're learning the prosecutor is going to take another look at Shaneen's case. He sent this letter dated September 12, Friday, addressed to the superior court judge telling him that he, the prosecutor, is "reviewing our offices' position on the appropriate resolution of this matter". The prosecutor is asking for three weeks time to review everything and for the court to delay the start of a trial and any pretrial hearings.

The trial was supposed to start the first week of October so maybe he's caving to all the attention and the pressure this case is getting due to the Ray Rice connection or maybe not, but Shaneen Allen certainly has hope for the first time in nearly a year.

Anderson?

COOPER: We're going to continue to follow. Randi, thanks.

Joining me now, CNN Legal Analysts Mark Geragos and Sunny Hostin. Mark, of course, is a criminal defense attorney, Sunny, a former federal prosecutor.

Sunny, it is remarkable and this is a woman who had a legal right to carry this gun. She had a permit. She'd crossed the state line just a few miles didn't realize her mistake...

SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Right.

COOPER: ... and she told the police officer about the weapon. It wasn't as if she was trying to hide this weapon. She doesn't get a diversion program?

HOSTIN: Well, it's remarkable and I've been saying this from the very beginning and I feel like I'm sounding like a broken record, right?

Bottom line is domestic violence cases are rarely, rarely placed in these pretrial intervention programs. I prosecuted these cases. They don't qualify. When you look at the law in New Jersey, it's very clear that this type of crime or violence is basically ineligible for the PTI program.

Absent -- the prosecutor's waving -- waiver and so there's no question. This was celebrity justice. Everyone knows it and I don't think that anyone would say otherwise...

COOPER: Mark, what about that? I mean, how is it fair that Ray Rice gets a deal with no jail time, his record could be wiped clean and this woman is facing up to 10 years?

MARK GERAGOS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, do you want me to tell you what's really going on here?

COOPER: Yeah, tell me what's really going on.

GERAGOS: The Ray Rice, if that video had been leaked by TMZ prior to the situation when he went to court, he never would've gotten the pretrial diversion program. It's not because he was a celebrity, it's because of the media attention. This poor woman and I agree with Sunny, she is a poor woman. She's a poster child for somebody who should've gone through the pretrial. The only reason now that it looks like and I will guess that they'll give her pretrial diversion now, they're going to wake up and have an epiphany is because of media attention.

It's not so much the celebrity, it's when the media puts their focus on something that's why I laughed when lawyers say, "I'm not going to try my case in the media." or, "I'm not going to use the media." and I said, "Well, that's malpractice per se." In both of these cases, the manipulation or the failure of the media or if you use the media...

COOPER: You don't believe...

GERAGOS: ... is what caused this.

COOPER: Mark, you don't believe that Ray Rice, because he's a famous football player that he got treated differently than if he had been a non-athlete who had beat his wife unconscious in a public elevator in a major casino in Atlantic City?

HOSTIN: With the video? GERAGOS: If there was no tape, the elevator tape which is when you see the strike and you've got the wife, you know, the fiancee, then wife coming in there and basically saying, "No, I started it." or, "I did this or that." that's not unusual.

Sunny will tell you, I think, that in most of these domestic violence cases and I've handled, you know, thousands of them frankly. They're kind of the -- unfortunately, one of the crimes that clogs up the criminal justice system. It seems like at least in my experience, 95 percent of the time, the girlfriend or the wife ends up recanting and not only that, I can't tell you how many times they're the ones who come into my office and want to hire me to represent the husband/boyfriend.

So it's -- I mean, it's a symbiotic and sometimes enabling relationship.

HOSTIN: But, Mark, you have to agree that the prosecutors had this video tape when they allowed him to enter into the pretrial intervention program. That video tape is something that prosecutors when were trying domestic violence cases rarely have. So the fact that they had that video, yet, still allowed him to enter into that pretrial intervention program has nothing to do with media coverage. It has everything to do with the fact that he is a famous football player.

GERAGOS: I'm just telling you Sunny that isn't the case because I've seen it with people who are not famous. You know, I do have a practice that involves none famous or non celebrity or non infamous people. A lot of times, if there's no media attention and you've got a purported victim who is not yelling or screaming bloody murder, that's how these things disposed of.

HOSTIN: Prosecutors try these cases without the victim all the time.

COOPER: We'll definitely going to follow the case of this woman to see what happens to her because I mean and again, if media attention is going to make a difference I mean what's happening to her just seems stunning to me.

Mark, I appreciate it and Sunny Hostin as well.

Just ahead, ISIS murders a third Western captive British aid worker, David Haines. What we know about him. What memories of his family are saying tonight.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Well, you know, another family is now going through the unthinkable. Their loved one beheaded on video by ISIS terrorists. David Haines was a British aid worker, the third western captive killed by ISIS terrorists.

Senior international correspondent Nic Robertson joins us now.

So we're starting to hear from David Haines's family, what have been they saying so far?

NIC ROBERTSON: Yes, Anderson, they live in Perth just north of here, just in the foothills of the Scottish mountains. David Haines' daughter, Bethany, a young teenager, she wrote on her Facebook page today some very emotional words. This is what she said.

"I was really touched by the messages of support coming at this hard time. I know my dad would be really touched and grateful."

Now, she's not the only one from the family who's spoken out. We were there in Perth today. This is a town where David Haines went to school. He's known by many people there. His brother Mike lives not far away and his brother has also spoken very emotionally saying that he knows that not all Muslims are to blame for this, that this isn't the real Islam. And he described his brother as a very loving person, but he himself couldn't automatically react with hate towards his killers. This is what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE HAINES, BROTHER OF DAVID HAINES: My first reaction could be one of hatred. But my brother's life wasn't about hatred. It was about love for all men. He tried to be a better man. He tried to account for his mistakes in previous life through good work.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERTSON: A very emotional time for the family. I watched the roll recording of that interview with his -- David's brother, Mike. He struggles -- Mike struggles many, many times to get his message across breaking down but he really wanted it to get the idea across the people just the kind of person, the caring person his brother was.

Anderson.

COOPER: And I've read about David Haines' career. I mean, he'd spent a lot of time in a lot of dangerous places, taking great risk to help other people. What do we know about what he was doing inside Syria?

ROBERTSON: Well, we know that he was working on an aid convoy trying to assist them in setting up a new refugee camp but been at that refugee camp that he was returning from the camp on the day of his capture returning back towards the Turkish border, not far from the border when gunman closed in on his vehicle and very quickly and skillfully removed him from the vehicle, took him away and that was it. He -- This was a year and a half ago, March last year.

His local MP who I talked within Perth today told me that many people in the town from the school that he went to remember him as being a very caring and helpful person, someone who always reached out. He described the town of Perth as feeling diminished. He said David was a hero for this and the people of the town respected him for his sort of selfish humanitarian giving, the work that he'd done.

Anderson.

COOPER: Nic Robertson. Just so terrible. Thank you, Nic.

As the FBI looks for a former resident in Boston who may have been involved with the social media wing of ISIS, there's newly released information regarding how alleged terrorists communicate with each other and the codes they use.

Deborah Feyerick reports on that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The Boston man wanted for questioning in connection with ISIS and its grizzly propaganda spoke frequently with friends about waging jihad against America and U.S. troops.

Ahmad Abousamra, pal, Tarek Mehanna and others often spoke in code according to court documents. Culinary school was code for training camps, peanut butter and jelly code for jihad. Listen as Mehanna talks to another English speaker apparently in Somalia who tells him to come fight.

TAREK MEHANNA, BOSTON MUSLIM: Well, right now I'm in a culinary school and I just made peanut butter and jelly.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right, right. (Inaudible).

FEYERICK: The phone call recordings were introduced in Mehanna's terror trial. Other court record show Pakistan was referred to as P- Town, Yemen was the YMCA, and the FBI was referred to as Bob or Brian. Listen again to Mehanna asking his unidentified friend for an e-mail address.

MEHANNA: Do you have like an e-mail or something that you're used to checking or just the phone?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, actually, I'm not even on the Internet. Trust me, there's no...

MEHANNA: OK.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... way I'm going to be on the Internet.

MEHANNA: OK.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So there's not to say isn't from here but where I am right now, no.

FEYERICK: Prosecutors say Mehanna and suspected ISIS fighter, Abousamra, traveled to Yemen together in 2004 initially telling U.S. authorities they were going to check out schools.

Prosecutors say they were unable to find a training camp in Yemen. However, Abousamra allegedly traveled to Fallujah in Iraq in February 2004 during U.S. fighting there. Two years later, Abousamra was studying computer science at the University of Massachusetts in Boston when FBI agents questioned him about his travel. He left weeks later and fled to Syria. His buddy, Tarek Mehanna never traveled there. There was other friend encouraged him to wage jihad.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Immediately. But look, I'm not getting (inaudible). I'm going to give you an advice and I have to let you go real quick.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dude...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come now.

FEYERICK: Deborah Feyerick, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Well, just ahead. A crackdown on Christianity in China, churches and crosses torn from the skyline in Eastern China leading to protest and now clashes between Christians and police. That's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Someone to look out for when a report in this next topic as aired on CNN International over the last few days, Chinese censors have actually blacked it out, the box that is in the bottom of the screen is actually -- this program several seconds delayed that's airing in China right now.

Now, just for interest, if you keep your eye on that throughout the program and see what actually happens in the past, they've censored us and it's gone to black. They might do again. They might censor us again tonight.

The story concerns -- And we've just gone black in China so we're no longer being seen in China. The story concerns a religious freedom or we should say the lack of it. Christian leaders in Eastern China say they are facing the worst persecution in decades as the government destroys churches and tear it down in its process. Now, exclusive video shows police clashing with church members.

CNN International Correspondent David McKenzie reports.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Extraordinary scenes of fights in the middle of the night.

A church congregation barricaded themselves in from hundreds of riot police.

It's happening in Wenzhou known as the Jerusalem of China.

In four (ph) months, the government has demolished scores of churches and torn down hundreds of crosses.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What the government here is doing is so barbaric. Today, we've seen the fundamental symbol of our faith violated and hurts us deep inside our hearts.

MCKENZIE: Chen Zhi'ai is a respected church leader in Wenzhou. He says the faithful now live in fear.

In this amateur video obtained by CNN and in the Salvation Church security camera footage, police brutally beat the faithful and drag them away.

Still, Christians here aren't backing down.

For more than two months, they've had people here day and night, 24/7 guarding the gates of this church to stop the Communist Party from coming in and tearing down their cross.

"I'm going to hold the cross in my arms and protect it," says this man. "We didn't steal, we didn't rob, we didn't take drugs. What did we do?" Through state media, local authorities say they are targeting all illegal structures. The party document show that churches are of focus. Church leaders say their crime was to become too numerous, too intimidating for a party on suspicious of the faithful.

Recent research shows that there could soon be more Christians than Communist Party members. And in 15 years, more Christians in China than anywhere else, facts distributed to the party.

Chen says that Christians have no interest in politics, but he has a warning.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "The law enforcers are breaking the law themselves. If they keep doing things this way, there is a saying "those who play with fire will get burned."

MCKENZIE: After violent clashes, Salvation Church members pushed back the police. But they came back with reinforcements several weeks later and strip the church of its cross. Still the devout say they won't stop believing here because their faith is too strong.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: And David McKenzie joins me now live from China. I believe we're still probably being censored in China. We'll, again, we'll check out on that during this.

David, do we know how many churches have been shut down? I mean, how often has this occurred so far?

MCKENZIE: Well, it's happened a great deal and it's happened for several months, Anderson, really throughout this year. And scores of churches have been demolished by the party in that region of China, and as I reported, more than 300 crosses torn down.

Now, they say this is about illegal structures, but, you know, there are a lot of strange buildings in that province, that's actually quite well-known for it. And then why would you go to the trouble of getting a team in there and breaking down a cross which is really the symbol of Christian's faith?

Now, the party leaders say it's just because of the reason that I stated, but the church goers say they're doing this on purpose to intimidate Christians, to show who's really boss in China, the Communist Party and clearly they're intimidated

COOPER: David McKenzie, thanks very much. We'll continue to follow up.

Just ahead tonight, Hilary and Bill Clinton go to a picnic. See why that fact made the world of 2016 presidential politics suddenly become a lot more interesting.

We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: On more happening tonight, Susan Hendricks heads up 360 Bulletin.

Susan?

SUSAN HENDRICKS, CNN ANCHOR: Anderson, North Korea has sentenced 24- year old American Matthew Miller to six years of hard labor for committing hostile acts.

U.S. State Department officials responded by calling for the immediate release of Miller and fellow American Kenneth Bae who's serving a 15- year sentence. They also asked for amnesty for Jeffrey Fowle, an American tourist who was arrested in June.

Violence continues in Ukraine despite a ceasefire deal. Shelling in the city of Donetsk on Sunday killed six civilians and wounded 15 others. Russia's foreign minister says the ceasefire seems to be holding in general and that Moscow is ready to work for lasting peace.

While Hilary Clinton was in Iowa for the first time since her failed presidential run attending a stake fry fundraiser for Democrats over the weekend, her husband, you know who he is, Bill Clinton at her side, she didn't plan or say she will run again in 2016 but she did chat with reporters stirring up even more speculation.

And a Dutch artist has learned this the hard way, "Never let chainsaws near your giant rabbit," as the saying goes. Chainsaw sparks are suspected to have set that off that fire that damaged the artist's giant "Moon Rabbit" at the arts festival in Taiwan, Anderson. Workers were trying to take it down because of typhoon, so it looks like the rabbit was in trouble either way.

COOPER: Strange story. All right. Susan, thanks very much. That does it for us. Thanks for watching. We'll see you again, 11:00 p.m. Eastern tonight for another edition of 360.

CNN Tonight starts now.