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CNN NEWSROOM

Man Loses Wife and Two Great Grandchildren in California Wildfire; Shooting Victim's Family Disrupt Press Conference in Minnesota; MH 370 Report Still Not Definitive. Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired July 30, 2018 - 15:30   ET

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


[15:30:00] DYLAN BIERS, DYLAN BYERS, CNN SENIOR REPORTER: Moonves has resisted that. He has gone so far as to sue Shari Redstone in his attempt to block that merger from taking place. Look, front and center in this story of course are the accusations against Moonves which the board has said it is taking very seriously. But if you talk to people in Hollywood, the context of that is not lost on them. Now, Shari Redstone came forward on Friday when these allegations first came out and said that she absolutely resists any insinuation that she had anything to do with these accusations.

ERICA HILL, CNN HOST: Dylan Biers I know you will continue to follow it for us. Thank.

Just ahead more than a dozen wildfires raging in California. Some of them turning deadly. One man lost his wife and two great grandchildren. He describes the heart breaking final moments as he raced to try to rescue them.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ED BLEDSOE, GREAT GRANDFATHER OF TWO FIRE VICTIMS: He just kept saying grandpa, come and get me. Come and get us.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[15:35:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HILL: Love you, grandpa. Words that are haunting a devastated grandfather who lost his wife and two great grandchildren when wildfires engulfed their California home. Ed Bledsoe left his house to run a errand. Then he got a phone call from his frantic wife, Melody. He says he raced to get back to them but was turned back by engine crew-- emergency crews. He said he was on the phone with his 5-year-old great grandson James, known as junior as flames tore through the house. I want to warn you, this is tough to listen to.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BLEDSOE: I talked to junior on the phone until he died. He just kept saying, grandpa, please come get me. He said come and get me. The fire coming in the back door. Come on, grandpa. I said, I'm right down the road. He said come and get us. Emily said, I love you, grandpa. Grandma said I love you grandpa. And junior says I love you. Come and get us. Come and get us. I said I'm on my way. He said, and then he talked until he died. I tried to call him back, and it just went to nothing. God dang. By babies is my wife. What did I do wrong? And why? Just wonderful, wonderful people. My wife was the greatest woman in the world, and my grandkids was excellent. Them kids from the smartest kids in their school. They give them top honors on everything. They just -- it kills me. All I think about is him talking to me and begging me to come and get him out of the fire. He kept saying grandpa come and get me, come and get us, come and get us, please, come and get us. And all I could say is I'm just down the road. I'm coming, I'm coming. But the hell, they wouldn't let me through there. And -- uh.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did the phones go dead?

BLEDSOE: Yes. No, it didn't -- Yes, the phone went off. I dialed it back and it went to voice machine. I dialed it back and it went to voice machine. I just kept dialing and dialing and dialing, and it just went to -- it just kept going to voice machine.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, let me ask you this, at any time did authorities say you should evacuate?

BLEDSOE: No. Never. I was there all day, all -- and my kids -- Travis and his wife that was there all day. They were in there helping me cut line and stuff around the house. And the fire was a way hill over, down. Nobody ever said anything about evacuating. Nobody did. My wife called 911. And they said, we will have somebody come get you. And junior said hey grandpa a car pulled up in the yard, in the driveway, but he backed up and left. He didn't even come in and get us. I said, well, they should have -- somebody should have come in and got you. And I guess they said the fire was so hot, they couldn't, Yes, go in. But hello health they should have honked and let them come running through the fire.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your wife once she knew that the fire was getting close she wrapped the kids in blankets.

BLEDSOE: Wet blankets. She wrapped them in wet blankets and put them down at the side of the bed and put a wet blanket around her and that's why they found him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They could see they were wrapped in blankets?

BLEDSOE: That's what they told me. I wanted to go in there and find stuff myself because I'm upset. I would have liked to have gone in there and died with them. I would love to be laying there on my wife and went with them. They -- I'll never find another wife and kids like that. I'm just a stupid old man. I should have used my damn brain and kept my wife and kids out of harm's way.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[15:40:00] HILL: Heart breaking. At last count six people have died. Seven are missing. Hot dry conditions continue to fan the flames. In multiple wildfires as you can see there in northern California, the largest, the Carr fire, in Shasta County, were Ed Bledsoe is from, it is just 17 percent contained. If you would like to help the fire victims CNN's Impact Your World Team has vetted a list of organizations on the ground. Find those at CNN.com/impact.

Rudy Giuliani, and his wild CNN interview today also attacking Michael Cohen's credibility using Shakespeare references to describe his quote, betrayal.

No charges against a police officer who shot and killed a man as he ran from them. You will see the video that police say was a gun and the emotional reaction by his family who took over a news conference that can be called by the county attorney.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We want the cops arrested in the next 48 hours and prosecuted to the fullest degree of the law, because this was murder.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[15:45:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HILL: Protesters and the devastated families of a black man killed by in Minneapolis taking over a news conference about that shooting. The dramatic scenes playing out just moments before we learned there will be no charges filed against the two police officers who fatally shot 31-year-old Thurmond Blevins on June 23rd.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE FREEMAN, HENNEPIN COUNTY Attorney: Law officers are required to react quickly in tense, uncertain, and rapidly evolving situations needed to be taken into -- [shouting]

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was murder. It was murder. You walk out on my family. [shouting]

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You just saw Mike Freeman. He walked out on the victim's family. He will let these murderers walk away. We are tired of being hunted down and shot. And then there is white people coming here telling us it is all right to kill us.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We want the officers arrested in the next 48 hours or there will be further consequences. And that is all we have to say. Mike Freeman, you better think long and hard in regards to prosecuting these officers, because if you don't -- I'll let you finish that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HILL: The city of Minneapolis releasing body cam footage which shows two officers chasing down Blevins as he begged them not to shoot. That video starts in the patrol car just before officers spot Blevins carrying a gun. I want to warn you, you may find these images disturbing.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE OFFICER: He's got a gun.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE OFFICER: Put your [bleep] hands up now. Stop, stop, stop, put your [bleep] hands up. Put your hands up. I will [bleep] shoot you.

THURMOND BLEVINS: Come on, man. I didn't do nothing, bro.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE OFFICER: Put your hand up. You have got a gun.

BLEVINS: No.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE OFFICER: Yes, you do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE OFFICER: Put it down. Put it down.

BLEVINS: Please, don't shoot me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE OFFICER: Put your hand up.

BLEVINS: Please don't shoot me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE OFFICER: Put your hands up. [gunfire]

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HILL: CNN's Ryan Young is with us now. Ryan, the officers were responding to a 911 call of a man firing a gun into the air. Walk us through what happened, and also of course why we are learning no charges are being filed.

RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Look, this is a tough video to watch. I have watched it probably a dozen times of course you see the officers during that chase. They were told they were looking for an intoxicated man who was apparently firing a gun in the air.

When the officer arrived, you hear him say look I think I see a bottle of gin. And then as they exit the car he notices a weapon. They have done some spot shadowing the kind of circle that you can see the weapon on his side.

And during this chase which lasted for quite some time. When you think about the body camera footage we have seen over the years, this is some really clear body footage. In fact, it looks like several times the gun is actually pointed back toward the officers.

I also want to point out the audio in this cam footage is very clear. You can hear the officer saying over and over, hands up. You can hear them begging for him to stop. You can actually hear Blevins saying leave me alone, don't shoot, don't shoot. But at the same time when you watch the highlighted portions of this video, it looks like the weapon is pointed back toward officers.

Something else that we learned today, they apparently said they found a shell casing near his body that came from his gun. So not sure if this was fired during this chase. Maybe it was fired after he fell. But the point is that weapon did apparently discharge. If you think about this, did that chase last 30 or 35 seconds? The entire time you could hear the instructions from the officers to please stop, to put your hands up. They very direct with their calls for him to stop running. Then you will also see that weapon pointed back toward officers.

There is a planned protest for tomorrow. Wondering how the community will react in terms of this because at first when they heard about the shooting they were angry and very upset. But when you watch all the video, yes, the family is upset. You can understand why they are making this call and trying give at first when they heard about the shooting they were angry and very upset.

You can understand why they are making this call and trying give him every step of the process to stop running or maybe even to have that gun pointed back. We haven't heard from the officers yet, but what did they see during that run and of course the reason why the charges are not being posted toward these officers is because of the danger the gun posed.

HILL: Ryan Young with more on that. Thank you.

TSA admits it's been tracking people as they make their way around airports around the country. The government says it's all for security reasons. Why then are some Air Marshalls complaining about the program?

[15:55:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HILL: Quiet skies. The is program as innocent as its name? The TSA confirming a previously undisclosed program that tracks U.S. citizens not suspected of a crime, not on any watch list. The program was first reported by the "Boston Globe."

It's been in place since 2010. It's set to flag people for fidgeting or having a cold, penetrating stare, a jump in their Adam's apple or being abnormally aware of their surroundings. Once flagged, they are tracked by Air Marshalls. Joining us now, CNN safety analyst, former FAA safety inspector, David

As we look at this, the "Globe" reported several Air Marshals told the "Globe" they think the program is a waste of taxpayer dollars and resources. Some are concerned it could cross legal and ethical lines. We do not know if it has been effective because the government is not giving us that information, what do you make of it?

DAVID SOUCIE, CNN SAFETY ANALYST, FORMER FAA SAFETY INSPECTOR: Well, this pattern monitoring if you want to call it that, goes far beyond just the way that a person acts. They research how long you've been flying on a certain route. You're taking a certain route over and over again, they'll verify why. If you're taking a pattern of routes, like from Dallas to Denver to LA and you keep doing that pattern, they'll use that as well to increase surveillance on a particular passenger.

It just, it's very in depth. It is an effective program that I know of. So as far as ethically, Yes, I think it's definitely on the border of ethics and why we should be under surveillance when we're simply traveling. But it's hard to remember that flying is a privilege. Not a right.

HILL: To play devil's advocate on that, you and I both know anytime there's a disaster, that the U.S. and a lot of people would say rightfully so, specifically domestically is criticized for its airline security being consistently reactionary. So, if this something that seems more proactive, that seems like things we may see and other countries, is that something to get so concerned about?

SOUCIE: It is proactive. I reward it for that. I think it's a good program that they're doing this. A lot to do with it. Now you have to have a little faith to know they're not using this information for anything else that's where the idea of separation between CIA and FBI being enforcement versus surveillance. That's where the line is very thin and where we have to be very, very careful we don't impose on people's rights. But once again, to be able to fly is privilege and you have to give up a little bit of your own personal security and information to be able to fly. For the sake of others who are flying. So, I think that has to happen.

HILL: I want to switch gears with you. There's a new report about the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH 370. A report from authorities in Malaysia that found the plane was likely steered off course deliberately by someone. Flew over the southern Indian Ocean. For seven hours after communications were severed.

What's interesting too and that report though, they basically say, look, we can't, we can't give you a determinative answer here until we find the wreckage, we don't really know. But seeing this report come out, what's your reaction?

SOUCIE: My reaction is that people are impatient about ambiguity. They have to have an answer for things. As investigators, that's one of the first things we train ourselves not to do and the idea that the lack of evidence or the absence of evidence doesn't mean there's evidence of any kind of absence. Kind of a flip on words there, but basically what we're seeing is just because the evidence of mechanical failure or fire doesn't exist. It doesn't mean that it didn't happen.

[16:00:00] It just means that they don't have the evidence for it. So, use that in the report -- and I haven't finished the report. It is 1492 pages.

HILL: It's a lot to get through.

SOUCIE: Yes, it is. So, there may be more in there. But as I see it now, the idea to kind of jump to one conclusion or another, it says on there, in the report in the very first few pages and this is so true. That an accident investigation is only performed to prevent further accidents and further incidents from happening. It's not to point blame. Not the to say this is conclusively what happened. A lot of information we can improve our safety with from this report but to come to a conclusion at this point is still irresponsible. I don't think there's enough information to conclude what happened to that airplane.

HILL: Always appreciate your input. Thanks for joining us today. "THE LEAD" with Jake Tapper starts right now.