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Reported Video from Inside Germanwings Cabin; Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act; Could Technology Save Flight 9525? New York Police Man Reassigned; Strict Water Restrictions in California. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired April 1, 2015 - 20:00   ET


[20:00:15] WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Good evening. Wolf Blitzer sitting in for Anderson tonight.

The national outcry over state legislation that supporters say are only to protect religious freedom and critics say have been expressly designed to let people discriminate. We're talking about bills like the one Indiana governor Mike Pence signed that almost immediately asked lawmakers to rework. Or the one the Arkansas governor, Hutchinson, promised to sign but declined to at the last minute today.

Each backed down after enormous pressure. Each bill was promoted with claims that they just like a federal religious freedom law that passed years ago with bipartisan support. And just like laws in other states including one that then Illinois senator Barack Obama voted for back in the late 1990s. Listen to governor Pence.


GOV. MIKE PENCE (R), INDIANA: The religious freedom restoration act was signed into federal law by President Bill Clinton more than 20 years ago. Indiana has passed a law here that mirrors the federal law that President Clinton signed. This is a law that mirrors what president Clinton signed.

Federal law in the book since 1993. The federal law signed by president Clinton. The federal law since 1993. That's what it's been for more than 20 years. Federal law for more than 20 years. The religious freedom restoration act on the book more than 20 years.


BLITZER: So that's the claim. Just like the federal law. Keeping Them Honest, not quite. Here's why. The federal law in most existing state laws that were put in place years ago are written to give legal protection to individuals who claim their religious rights are being violated by the government. The Indiana law and other recent legislation go further, offering protection and I'm quoting now, regardless of whether the state or any other governmental entity is a party to the proceeding. Legal analysts say the last line broadens the law to cover businesses which means it protects the flower shop whose owner claim that its religious beliefs forbidding from serving same-sex couples or the Indiana pizzeria which today said it would never cater a same-sex wedding.

Whether you agree or disagree on gay right, these laws are not the same old, same old. More now on efforts to change the Indiana law after all the protests. Miguel Marquez is joining us from Indianapolis.

Miguel, what's the latest you're hearing about how these negotiations inside the state capital are progressing?

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It sound like they are done, Wolf. The house speaker, Brian Bozwin, came out a short time ago. They have been meeting now for five hours total. They met 3:00 in the afternoon. 2:00 earlier in the afternoon and then beside that, there were individual meetings all day. So Republicans, all 71 of them have been meeting for about five hours today in total on this. He came out a short time ago saying that they think they have the language. He wants to cross few Ts and dot a few Is, talk to a few votes. I'm sure the governor is on that list. The speaker of the senate here is probably on that list. And as the business community and some perhaps even activists who have been involved in this, they want as broad agreement as possible before they go to the public basically, make that language known across the land and then they will rush it very quickly through committee here tomorrow, it sounds like. And then through both houses before getting it to the desk of the governor probably by tomorrow afternoon - Wolf.

BLITZER: It's a bit difficult though to understand how the Indiana lawmakers please everyone with this because if they write into the law that religious freedom does not include the ability to deny services to gay citizens, that's going to infuriate a lot of social conservatives, right?

MARQUEZ: It is. And they are not going to please everyone. The left here now wants full repeal of the law and a non-discrimination clause put into the civil rights charter of the state. That's not going happen. They feel they have the upper hand now sort of this become a debacle for the government here.

And the right, they don't want to give up, what you were talking about earlier, the definition of an entity. The business can make a choice. They wouldn't call it a discriminatory. They would call it a choice not to serve certain individuals because of their deeply held religious beliefs - Wolf.

BLITZER: All right, Miguel, thanks very much. Miguel Marquez reporting.

Joining us now, New York University constitutional law professor, Kenji Yoshino and Mollie Hemingway, senior editor of the "Federalist."

Mollie, these laws, do they need to be clarified, amended in some way in your opinion or do you believe they are fine as is?

MOLLIE HEMINGWAY, SENIOR EDITOR, THE FEDERALIST: We're having all these discussions about religious liberty and I'm a little concern about who's missing from the conversations. Women like Caawall Tugor (ph). She is someone who used a religious freedom bill, fight back when the IRS fired her for carrying a religious album that was emblem that is required of her by her Sikh faith. Men like Robert Soto who just weeks ago won religious freedom case because the government had seized his sacred eagle feathers.

We're talking about all these hypothetical and we are not talking about the real people who have benefitted from religious freedom legislation over the last 20 years that we've had these bills at the state and federal level.

[20:05:27] BLITZER: But molly, your point in the case of protecting religious minorities from intrusion by the government, the federal government in this case. The concerns about Indiana and Arkansas pertains that individuals being discriminated against by other individuals under cover of religious freedom, right?

HEMINGWAY: And this is an important point to make. There has been much misinformation how religious freedom bills work. They can only be used as a defense. You can only use a religious freedom bill if you have been accused of breaking a law or if you face fines or government action because of your religious liberty beliefs of your religious belief coming in conflict with a government action. And the department of justice itself has said that religious freedom claims can be raised in the cases between two private individuals.

So to say this is some huge difference between the way we've seen religious freedom bills happen in the past and now is not quite correct.

BLITZER: All right. Let me get Kenji to respond. What do you think about what Mollie is saying that it's basically not a big deal, what these laws are now stipulating?

KENJI YOSHINO, PROFESSOR, NEW YORK UNIVERSITY: I think that it is a very big deal. I think that the private public distinction you raise is an enormous deal. I also think we need to look at the contacts in which this law was enacted. It's often said by the other side that 19 states have an enacted religious freedom legislation act. But 18 of the 19 states did that before the United States Supreme Court in 2013, struck down the defensive marriage act.

So thus we got too lyrical about laws enacted by vast majorities of both houses of Congress and signed by Bill Clinton. That also happened with the defensive marriage act in 1996, which was struck down in the Supreme Court in 2013. The infinite behind these laws, at least the recent round of laws, it's clearly to discriminate against gay individuals and gay couples.

BLITZER: All right, Mollie, go ahead.

HEMINGWAY: The whole point of religious freedom legislation is it helps us navigate the conflict between government rules and people's religious liberty. It doesn't say who wins. It merely said when there is a conflict, it gives us a way of navigating the conflict.

The religious person has to show that he has a legitimate religious belief and that it is substantially burdened by the government. And then the government can still say, yes, we're burdening you, but have to do it and we have no other way to do it than by limiting your religious freedom.

It's actually quite moderate legislation and it works whether it's dealing with laws about same-sex marriage or any of the many other laws that are on the books at the federal and state level.

BLITZER: You want to respond, Kenji?

YOSHINO: Yes, some civil rights commitments have been deemed by this nation to be so deeply held that they shouldn't be up for a case determination by a particular judge. And so, in this instance, subjecting the civil rights of gay and lesbian individuals and gay and lesbian couples to the whims of a particular judge under the very murky area of a balancing test is not what is needed. What is needed is a more categorical protection for gays and lesbians.

And what I think is particularly striking is that governor Pence said he was for religious liberty and against discrimination, as if those two things were mutually exclusive. Religious liberty claims are use often used to oppose things like the interracial marriage in our nation, that is history of civil rights. And I think we are seeing every a repeat of that here.

BLITZER: Mollie, you might argue that these are separate issues but a lot of people feel they are closely connected. So just to be clear, I assume you believe that women, people of color, people with disabilities, they should all be protected by law against discrimination, but what about gay people? Should they be protected from discrimination as well?

HEMINGWAY: It's really up to the people of Arkansas and Indiana to decide whether they want to pass another law that burdens people in the state. That is truly up to them. And I hope that people have that discussion in a calm, non-hysterical environment, which is not what we've seen as the people of Indiana have been bullied and had their democratic process taken over by corporate heads and powerful people. It's a really bad way to make a decision about whether you want to have more government regulations.

BLITZER: Kenji, go ahead.

HEMINGWAY: Religious liberty is not a problem, it's who we are as a people. It's our very first freedom and it doesn't need a fix.

BLITZER: Kenji, go ahead.

YOSHINO: Yes, I think we should be proud of this moment in American history because we see a majority of American people rising up, seemingly, across the nation saying that this is no longer acceptable and that even though gays and lesbians are a small minority, that they deserve the same kind of categorical protection as others minority like racial minority have enjoyed in the past.

BLITZER: Kenji Yoshino, thanks very much. Mollie Hemingway, thanks to you as well.

Now Georgia, where lawmakers have one day left before going on vacation and a religious freedom restoration bill installed in the state house judiciary committee. The legislation has sparked a bitter debate in Georgia. Advocates say it is also revealed precisely the type of discrimination that they say these laws encourage.

More on that from Gary Tuchman.


[20:10:07] GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Head out to world Jeff Davis county Georgia. And you don't have to look hard to find supporters of the state's proposed religious freedom restoration act and they aren't afraid to say why.

If you had gay customers in here to buy flowers and they said we want you to come to the commitment ceremony, bring the flowers, marriages not allowed in the state yet, would you do it?


TUCHMAN: Jennifer Williams is an associate of this flower shop, an observant southern Baptist who says she regards the bible as the whole book for her life. She doesn't believe refusing service to a gay couple is discrimination.

You talk about the bible and how important it is. I mean, the bible talks awful about love and loving your fellow men.

WILLIAMS: It is it may not I don't love them less. So I don't operate for them.

TUCHMAN: So if you don't serve them, it is not like you are --

WILLIAMS: It is not that hate them. I don't hate them. But --

TUCHMAN: But you're not loving them if you don't want to serve them, right?

WILLIAMS: Well, yes. You can still love someone. I mean, even though you don't serve them.

TUCHMAN: In another flower shop just down the street, the exact same opinions from the florist and her son, who is studying to be a southern Baptist pastor.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I would respectfully tell them I'm sorry that I just don't want to do it because of my beliefs.

TUCHMAN: But right now, you know, while Georgia is considering a law to make it legal for you to do that is not, you can get in trouble for doing that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I understand that.

TUCHMAN: So you would be willing to take that risk.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He died on the cross for me. It's the least I can do for him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I serve the God as higher than any Supreme Court judge. It's called the judge of the universe and I don't care what anybody else says.

TUCHMAN: So no matter what, whether it is a law or not, you would not bring your flowers to a gay commitment ceremony?


TUCHMAN: There are five florists we found in this area. The employees of three of them did not want to appear on camera. But they all told us the same thing. That they want this law to pass in Georgia. That they want the right to turn away business from gay people. Their sentiments are, of course, very offensive to many. A demonstration taking place at the Georgia capital this week.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We see that this bill is very clearly a vehicle to be used to discriminate against the gay and transgender community.

TUCHMAN: And although the flower shop employees we spoke to don't like to use the word discriminate, they do indeed see the bill as a vehicle to legally deny service to gay people.

You know, the ten commandments, it says you can't commit adultery, honor your father and mother. Some of them don't honor their parents or commit adultery, would you serve them?


TUCHMAN: Why would you serve them but not someone who is gay?

It's just a different kind of sin to me and I just don't believe in it.

TUCHMAN: These flower shops, they are happy to do business with you. But not so much if you tell them you're gay.

Gary Tuchman, Jeff Davis county Georgia.


BLITZER: Just ahead, new images from the crash site of flight 9525. Search teams still combing through debris as the CEO of Lufthansa makes his first visit to the site.

Also tonight.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How long have you been in this country?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Almost two years. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Almost how long?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got news for you and use this lesson. Remember this in the future. Don't ever do that again.


BLITZER: That rant by a New York city police detective that's spark outrage and fallout that the price he's now paying for talking that way to an Uber driver. That's ahead on "360."


[20:16:13] BLITZER: Tonight, the German town that lose 16 high school students and two teachers in the crash of flight 9525 held a memorial service. The church was overflowing.

Tonight, we have new images of search crews that work in the French Alps at the crash site. This grilling work picking through the debris in the mountain where 150 people died.

And today for the first time, Chief executive of Lufthansa visited the crash site laying a wreath at a memorial. He refused to answer reporters' questions about the co-pilot who is accused of deliberately crashing the plane.

Yesterday, Lufthansa admitted that the co-pilot told the airline five years ago that he had had an episode of severe depression, that didn't keep him out of the cockpit.

CNN's Pamela Brown is joining us now with a new development in the investigation.

Pamela, what are you learning over there in Germany?

PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, we've learned according to a source close to this investigation that a fresh, new clue has been discovered just recently. And that this point though, investigators are not ready to reveal publicly what that new finding is. Of course, the hope is that it could be closer to an answer about the motive. What caused Andreas Lubitz to do what he did? I know from another source that investigators have been poring over electronics, looking for any clues. And so far, I'm told that the only relevant finding on his computers and other electronics is information about that 2009 depression episode that he reported to Lufthansa - Wolf.

BLITZER: What about the scene at the crash site? How are the recovery efforts, Pamela, going?

BROWN: Well, we know, Wolf, that the German investigator, the chief German investigator is there at the crash site in Paris, in France, I should say. He said today, emotionally, it's been difficult but that it's actually brought them closer to an understanding of what happened in this investigation. And we know now, Wolf, there's new video at the crash site because that access road that was built in this video is giving a closer look of the rescue workers there collecting the belongings, the remains there and the debris. So the rescue efforts there at the scene are moving along, Wolf?

BLITZER: And Pamela, that reported video from inside the cabin of the plane that shows the last few seconds, if you will, before the crash. Investigators are still pushing back on that, right? What are they saying?

BROWN: Yes. Investigators all around are pushing back on this, Wolf. Yesterday, we had authority with the French police saying that the video, the cell phone videos hadn't been exploited yet and analyzed. And now the prosecutor involved in this case said he hasn't seen any videos in this investigation and urged that anyone who has the video to turn it over, that he hasn't seen anything yet. So there has been strong pushback from the investigators involved in this case -- Wolf?

BLITZER: Pamela Brown, thanks very much.

Tonight, a cell phone video purportedly, the one that Pamela was just talking about, is very much in dispute. The French prosecutor in- charge of the investigation says that it simply doesn't exist. Two publications though, "Paris Match" and the German newspaper "Bild," they have described the video in chilling detail. Neither, though, has shown it.

Frederic Helbert, a reporter for "Paris Match" said he has no doubts about the video's authenticity. He joins us tonight.

Frederic, you're one of the very few people who has actually seen this video. Can you describe to our viewers what the video shows?

[20:20:03] FREDERIC HELBERT, REPORTER, PARIS MATCH: The video shows the passengers at the back of the plane. Apparently, it's a center of his seat which is filming with the cell phone and we can see that the plane is moving. That's very something disturbing, like maybe this moment is just after the plane hit with his right wing a mountain before the final crash.

What is the most impressive in this show of video is the sounds, the noise. It's deep impact is that noise of people screaming and screaming again.

BLITZER: How many times, Frederic, have you watched the video?

HELBERT: Maybe 100 times. A hundred times, but then we've been watching altogether with the team of match the video to make the decision and we decided not to broadcast it because we thought that it was not bringing anything to the investigation. But that it could be something very difficult for the families.

BLITZER: I know you say you were able to view it by conducting what you called a long investigative process involving intermediaries connected to people working at the crash site. How can you be sure that the video you've seen is authentic? HELBERT: I won't go into details, but the people who were directly

connected to the people on the film are people I fully trust and I know since many years. And then it's important to say because in my report, there is also all this work on the final moment with the transcription of the cockpit voice recorder and it appears that it corresponded exactly, I mean, the video and in the video and were made.

BLITZER: As you know, Frederic, there have been suggestions that your publication, other publications actually pay sources for this kind of information. Here's the question. Did you pay someone for access to this video?

HELBERT: No. No, no, no. I can swear to God I didn't pay any single dollar to get an access on this video. It's only a matter of trust and sometimes of friendship with people I was in touch with.

BLITZER: The bottom line, Frederick, this is my last question, you have absolutely no doubt the video you saw is authentic, that it was taken in the final seconds of that doomed flight?

HELBERT: No, I have no doubt. I have no, no doubt and I would finish on that point. The video would not bring anything to the investigation.

BLITZER: Frederic Helbert, thank you so much for joining us.

HELBERT: My pleasure, Wolf.

BLITZER: Just ahead, are leaks compromising the flight 9525 crash investigation?

Plus, a first for California. What the governor did today to address the severe drought that's threatening the state.


[20:27:25] BLITZER: Just another day at Norfolk southern. About crash 9525 come initially through leaks. Tonight a French newspaper is reporting that police have questioned the head of the country's aviation regulatory agency about such leaks. One question tonight, could they be compromising investigator's work?

Joining us, the aviation attorney and former military pilot Justin Green. Also joining us, Mary Schiavo, former inspector general for the U.S. department of transportation and an attorney for victims of transportation accidents.

Justin, we just heard the reporter, the editor from "Paris Match" the publication there saying he is seeing that video, says it's authentic. French authorities, they say, they don't know about this video or any videos for that matter at this point. What do you make of all of this?

JUSTIN GREEN, AVIATION ATTORNEY: I think it's very, very unfortunate. Like Mary, I have to work. I am privileged to work with the family and victims of aviation disasters. And really, the last thing they need to hear or to find out about what happened on that flight is on the front page of the tabloid.

That being said, there is a concern about the integrity of the crash site which in this case is a crime scene. I don't believe the video itself will add too much to the investigation because I really just confirms what we already know from the cockpit voice recorder.

BLITZER: Mary, the fact that there have been so many leaks so early in this investigation. Have you actually even seen anything like this before?

MARY SCHIAVO, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Well, unfortunately, I have. You know, as inspector general, I conducted a lot of investigations and I was a former federal prosecutor too. And you know, investigations are leaky, even in the best of circumstances. But here, it goes beyond that because obviously, someone has had access to the crime scene and there's several crimes right there. Tampering with the evidence, the interference within investigate, obstruction of justice and theft of private property. Remember, this is a property of victim on the plane and U.S. law requires that it be returned. The EU is supposed to have similar laws in place.

BLITZER: Mary, Justin just mentioned this but got to be incredibly difficult for the families of the crash victims being leaked out to the news media rather than hearing them first from investigators.

SCHIAVO: You know, we're so privileged and used to how the NTSB and the United States conducts it. For example, on the flight 93 after September 11, 2001, they did have the cockpit voice recording which you could hear the passengers on because they battered down the door with a food cart and the families were given the options whether or not to hear it. The NTSB had councilors on standby. About half of the families opted to go hear it and it was very difficult. I went with them in and they really handled it at extremely privately and it would be so different as it had come out this way. It is really - it is tough on the families. They need to make their own choice in private.

[20:30:13] BLITZER: Justin, in terms of how these crash sites are blocked off, you say they are very protected, almost like crime scenes, but wouldn't it be extremely difficult for someone to find this memory card and take it without anyone seeing them doing that?

GREEN: You know, I don't think so. I've been on crash sites before and there's a lot of debris across a very large area. All it takes is someone to reach down and pick something up, and put them in their pocket. What I think is important to stress is there are rules that are supposed to protect a crash site. I'm not saying the French didn't follow those rules. But it's truly unfortunate and, you know, I hope that nothing else goes missing.

BLITZER: Mary, you saw the wreckage there. The plane was completely destroyed in this crash. What are the odds of a memory card actually surviving that kind of impact? Have you seen that before in other crashes? SCHIAVO: Oh, yes. I have. I have cases where I have cell phone

video. In some cases, it's crucial. It's - in one case, it was really a key piece of evidence. I've had cases where you've gotten pictures off of cameras, information off of a laptop. It's amazing what can survive and in a couple of those crashes, it was a horrific fire and they still survived. So, these things will survive and I think there should be more. I would think that they would be finding more, but you really have to comb these crash sites and sometimes, you literally get down to sifting with screens. So it's just a matter of finding it and if they find them, I think they'll get more.

BLITZER: All right, Mary Schiavo, thanks very much. And Justin Green, thanks to you as well. Digging deeper now on the technology that might save lives in a situation like this one. Rene Marsh has that.



RENE MARSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Despite glaring cockpit alarms like these, Andreas Lubitz continued Germanwings flight 9525's deadly descent, the plane in his control alone. More than ten years ago, Airbus, the plane's manufacturer, helped develop software to potentially allow a plane's computers to take over a flight if it got close to crashing. But the project was scrapped before it was put to use.

SCHIAVO: In the case of the Germanwings passenger murder, this technology would, I believe, have saved the flight.

MARSH: Here's how it would work. If the pilot does not respond to current audible warnings in the cockpit, an auto pilot function would kick in, steering the plane out of danger and on to a safe course. Many commercial pilots say a plane should never be taken out of a pilot's control. The crash landing of U.S. Airways Flight 1549 on the Hudson River in New York an example. After a flock of geese knocked out both engines, the heroic efforts of Captain Sully Sullenberger saved all 155 people on board. Some pilots also warn technology like enhanced crash avoidance could make jetliners vulnerable to hackers.

CAPTAIN JOHN BARTON, COMMERCIAL PILOT: More and more people will come to know the technology. They'll work on the technology, and therefore, there will be bad people that will be able to exploit that technology. That's not a good thing.

MARSH: But in incidents like the Germanwings tragedy, where a pilot is being blamed for the crash, former Department of Transportation inspector general Mary Schiavo says there must be additional safeguards.

SCHIAVO: Most of the major commercial jetliner crashes in the last two or three years could have been saved by an override.

MARSH: Rene Marsh, CNN, Washington.


BLITZER: Just ahead, fallout for the New York City police detective who was caught on tape ranting at an Uber driver. We are going to tell you what's happening to him so far as a consequence. That's coming up next.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let me tell you something. Next time you do it again ...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK what? You are going to let me [EXPLETIVE DELETED] finish?

Stop interrupting me.



BLITZER: Today, New York City police commissioner Bill Bratton said the behavior of a detective who was caught on video ranting at an Uber driver was, quote, "unacceptable." The detective who was assigned to the FBI's joint terrorism taskforce has been placed on modified assignment after the video was posted online. Watch this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know what [EXPLETIVE DELETED] planet you think you're on right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not planning, sir, I'm here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Planning? I said planet.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I say I'm not ...




BLITZER: That was just the beginning of the rant. It's disturbing, it's uncomfortable to watch and in Bratton's own words, it reflects poorly on cops. But is it illegal? Randi Kaye reports.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You understand me?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sir, I'm not saying ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You understand me? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I understand you.


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You're watching a nasty exchange in New York City's West Village. The man in the car is an Uber driver who honked his horn Monday afternoon at a New York City police detective who was attempting to park his unmarked car without a signal.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. So stop it with your mouth. Stop it with you - for what, sir, for what sir. Stop it with that [EXPLETIVE DELETED] and realize the three vehicle traffic law violations you committed.



KAYE: We asked CNN legal analyst Paul Callan to take a closer look at this video. A passenger in the Uber car recorded the whole angry exchange on his cell phone and posted it online.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: [EXPLETIVE DELETED]. You understand me? Pull over.

KAYE (on camera): So, we saw him curse there, but he's not breaking the law.

PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: No, he's not breaking the law by cursing at the driver of the car.


KAYE (voice over): Not only does the detective curse, but he slams the Uber driver's car and berates him at every turn.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK? You understand me?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know what [[EXPLETIVE DELETED] planet you think you're on right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not planning sir, I'm here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Planning? I said planet --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I say I'm not going to ...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not anything ...

CALLAN: He's ridiculing the driver based on the driver's accent. So, it seems to me he's clearly discriminating against him based on his ethnic or nationality. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How long have you been in this country?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Almost two years.

KAYE: About 2.5 minutes into the video, we see the detective's face on camera for the first time.


KAYE: He's detective Patrick Cherry with the joint terrorism taskforce.

(on camera): Do you think he has any idea that he's being recorded?

CALLAN: No, he doesn't. And this is a very brave move by the passenger in the backseat.

KAYE (voice over): Before it's over, the detective actually threatens the Uber driver with arrest. Listen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The only reason you're not in handcuffs going to jail and getting (INAUDIBLE) in the precinct is because I have things to do.

KAYE (on camera): Are there any grounds here that he could have even arrested him or is that just an empty threat?

CALLAN: It's an empty threat. There were no grounds for arrest here. As a matter of fact, I'm not even sure that he had the right to stop the car. Because bear in mind, the driver wasn't acting illegally in tooting his horn.

KAYE (voice over): While the officer remains on a modified assignment, the president of the Detectives Endowment Association is speaking out calling Detective Cherry a person of good character. He also explains the detective was on the way back from visiting a sick friend in the hospital, a fellow detective, in fact, who was in critical condition explaining emotions are running high and may have contributed to Detective Patrick Cherry's behavior. Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.


BLITZER: Joining me now, our CNN political commentator, "New York Times" op-end columnist Charles Blow and former NYPD officer Dan Bongino. Dan, as you heard the spokesman for the Detectives Union said the guys is - cop is a good person, good character. Shouldn't necessarily be judged on this one incident. That detectives are human who have things happen that may affect their behavior. You agree with that?

DAN BONGINO, FORMER NYPD OFFICER: Well, listen, Wolf. I don't agree that any person should be judged by their worst moment, but when you're wearing the shield, the NYPD shield, you're representing an entire department and you have to be aware of that. Listen, the policing is going to change. Cell phone cameras are everywhere and if you don't want to be a cable news celebrity, I suggest that you act all the time, if you're a police officer, as if you are being videotaped. Just the way it's going to be.

BLITZER: Yeah, you're right. That's good advice. Charles, the guy, he asked how long the driver was in the country, basically mocked him from being from someplace else, this is a man who works, as we pointed out from the joint terrorism taskforce who presumably on a daily basis, we don't know exactly what his job is, but someone who could work with surveillance, investigations, potentially arresting people who might look just like this driver. He was going off. What do you make of that part of this?

CHARLES BLOW, NEW YORK TIMES OP-ED COLUMNIST: Well, I think the entire video is a kind of a sad statement. Both for this officer in particular, but also for all of the, you know, really good officers who try their best to kind of tamp down the perception that police officers are abusive, that there are good officers out there who are just doing their best to do their jobs and in fact, we as a society, we need police officers. The only way to have a working civil society is to have people who enforce the laws. But what we also need, is people who are able to switch back and forth between how you deal with people who have actually broken the law and how you deal with someone like this, who is not being aggressive to you, who has not broken any laws and has just simply tooted his horn. And you invested with a tremendous amount of power and if you are shown to abuse that power, that reflects not only poorly on you, but also on the entire police force and that's a sad statement.

BLITZER: Well, Charles, the detective, as we reported, he's now on some sort of modified assignment while being investigated by internal affairs. Potentially he could face suspension, reassignment. What should be done here in your opinion?

BLOW: Well, I think that the police department has moved very quickly on this. To figure out - to start the process of figuring out what to do and what happened leading up to that point, but it is very clear what's happening on the video, so I actually do commend the police department. I commend Bratton for his statements on this, that this is not a good reflection on this officer or the police department as a whole.

But I think that culturally, we have to start asking police officers to do what a lot of other people do in cultural kind of institutions. Even in journalism, if someone is caught breaking the rules, other journalists will shun that person and condemn that person and that person will not be welcome back into the fold. I think that the police departments across the country have to adopt the same sort of ethos to say that if you are actually doing something that besmirches our image, as an institution, as a culture, then we want to have nothing to do with you. I think that we can't have enough cameras in enough backseats to catch every person who does something out of the ordinary. I think that what we have to have is other police officers, the better angels of the police force to say, we will no longer tolerate people who do things that make us look bad.

BLITZER: Dan Bongino, what do you think? BONGINO: I think Charles brings up a good point, but again, we do

have to look at this from a 30,000 foot view. You have - it's not like being a journalist.


BONGINO: And I'm not saying he was equating the two in the danger level at all. But it's different, Wolf. You have young, I got on the job with the police department, I was in my early 20s. You are put out in a neighborhood, in my case, at a very high crime rate in very dangerous situations. You come to rely on these people, to literally, these fellow police officers, to save your life. And while I completely agree, this was 100 percent unacceptable, I think we have to understand kind of why there's that silo mentality sometimes. That way we can break it down rather than just kind of criticize.

BLITZER: What kind of punishment do you think he deserves, this cop?

BONGINO: I think - I don't think he should lose his job. I think he's going to get a hefty suspension and I think Charles brings up a point, too, that's accurate. That this kind of effects can ripple throughout a community, especially in the community of cab drivers or Uber drivers who tend to talk. The negative externalities generated from a small interaction like this could be geometrically worse than that two minute video. So, we have to be really careful as law enforcement officers. And act like you're being recorded all the time.

BLITZER: Yeah, you probably will be given the smartphones and the cameras out there all of the time. Dan Bongino, Charles Blow. Guys, thanks very much.

Up next, drastic measures right now in California. Because the state is literally running dry.


BLITZER: After such a cold wet snowy winter in much of the country, this could come as a shock to some of you. For tens of millions of Californians who have been suffering through some of the hottest driest weather in decades, what happened today was sadly no surprise. The governor, Jerry Brown for the first time in California history imposing statewide water restrictions. Sara Sidner is joining us now from a very dry patch of ground in southern California San Fernando Valley. Sara, these historic restrictions, what exactly do they cover?

SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, look, you know, Governor Brown put it bluntly. He said that it's a historic drought that demands unprecedented action. And you're looking at some of that plan of action just over my right shoulder. Instead of those lush green lawns that we're used to seeing, they want to have 50 million square feet of lawns turned into what you see there which is zero scape. It is drought resistant plants with drip technology that uses just a fraction of what you need to water a grassy green lawn. There's also another push to lower the usage of drinkable water in urban areas by 25 percent. It is a big ask that will take a big effort. But scientists who've been looking at the situation in California with California's water table are extremely concerned and this all couldn't happen soon enough considering the state that California is in now.


JAY FAMIGLIETTI, NASA JPL SCIENTIST: California has about one year of water left in its reservoirs on the surface. And that's what our water managers tell us and that's readily visible from measurements on the ground.


BLITZER: So, Sara, if the reservoirs go dry within a year, what happens next?

SIDNER: Look, then they start pulling out the ground water and the water from the aquaphores (ph). And that is finite. Scientists are saying, that can't be replenished. And so, we don't have the snow pack, which we don't. Which the governor showed very clearly, he should have been standing in five feet of snow and there was nothing there. There is nothing to replenish that. And that means less and less water in this state and as you know, huge numbers of people and lots of agriculture, agriculture also being told, you've got to conserve. We want to see plans for how much water you're going to use and a plan for a drought management. So, there's a lot going on in the state. A lot of people worried. And I want to tell you this. There are communities that we've been to that have no running water in their homes, more than a thousand homes now. No running water because their wells have gone dry. So, this is really affecting families and everyday people especially in the central valley.

BLITZER: Yeah, it's pretty shocking what's going on over there. All right, Sara, thank you very much. There's a lot more happening tonight. Amara Walker has a "360" bulletin. Amara.

AMARA WALKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Wolf. Negotiations over Iran's nuclear program are extended again until tomorrow, Thursday, in hopes the deal can be made. Republicans on Capitol Hill are blasting the decision.

Senator Robert Menendez is temporarily stepping down from the Foreign Relations Committee now that he faces a 14 count federal indictment on corruption, fraud, and other charges. The New Jersey Democrat is accused of improperly using his office to help a Florida eye doctor who was a campaign donor. Menendez says he's angry and ready to fight.

In Atlanta, a jury convicted 11 former teachers on racketeering and other charges. A 12th defendant was acquitted and more than 20 others took plea deals. Prosecutors say the educators helped students cheat on standardized tests.

And happy April Fool's day everyone. There were a lot of good pranks, but this one caught our eye. Some shoppers thought the Petco selfie stick for your dog or cat was the real deal. The claim was that the camera is activated with a bark or a meow. Maybe one day, just not today.

And Pac-Man is eating his way around Google Maps. Just hit the box on the bottom of your screen to play along and have a good laugh. What a great idea. Who doesn't love Pac-Man, Wolf?

BLITZER: Everybody does. All right, thanks very much, Amara, for that.

Coming up, an heir to the Getty oil fortune found dead at just 47 years old. Early world from the coroner is natural causes, but questions remain about Andrew Getty's life and death. That's next.


BLITZER: An LAPD spokesman says the grandson of oil tycoon J. Paul Getty apparently died of natural causes. He lived through - lived, though, surrounded by drama. Stephanie Elam reports.


STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In this lavish Hollywood Hills estate, Andrew Getty, heir to the multibillion dollar Getty family fortune, was found dead Tuesday afternoon.

CMDR. ANDREW SMITH, LAPD: Right now it's being treated as an undetermined death investigation.

ELAM: Just 47 years old, police say he suffered from several health issues and at this point, there's no criminal investigation.

ED WINTER, ASSISTANT CHIEF, L.A. COUNTY CORONER: There appears to be natural or an accident. He had some medication that we recovered and don't know if he taking the medication or what his medical history is.

ELAM: Police say, a female friend who was at the home where Getty died was the one to call 9-1-1. She is cooperating with the investigation as a witness. It is unclear if that woman is Getty's estranged girlfriend. Just two weeks ago, Getty filed a temporary restraining order against her citing domestic violence. In court documents Getty says she used pepper spray on him and had to be removed from his home by police on numerous occasions. Getty also said he had high blood pressure and was at risk of injury or death because of this. He claimed she used it against him. He said his estranged girlfriend, quote, "is aware of my medical condition and she has exploited this information to demand money and property from me, refusing to leave my house." Andrew's father is philanthropist, Gordon Getty. One of the family's richest members with an estimated worth of more than $2 billion, but it was Gordon's father, oil tycoon J. Paul Getty who initially built the family's fortune, which Forbes puts at $5 billion. After becoming a millionaire with his first successful oil well in Oklahoma, J. Paul moved to Los Angeles living the life of a wealthy playboy. He married five times and also amassed a private art collection which became the foundation for world renowned museum that bears the family's name.

[21:00:04] ELAM: A family known for their immense wealth now grieving for the loss of one of their own.

Stephanie Elam, CNN Los Angeles.