Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NEWSROOM

Gas Explosion in Plantation, Florida; People Assessing Damage From A Second Powerful Earthquake To Hit Southern California. Aired: 1-2p ET

Aired July 6, 2019 - 13:00   ET

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


PATRICK SNELL, WORLD SPORT: Coco Gauff at this year's Wimbledon, as the story continues next up in action on Monday against the Simona Halep. Patrick Snell, CNN, Atlanta.

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, that was quite the match. Can't wait to see more. We've got so much more straight ahead in the NEWSROOM. And it all starts right now.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.

WHITFIELD: And hello and welcome again to our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm Fredricka Whitfield at CNN world headquarters in Atlanta and we are following breaking news out of Plantation, Florida, where police are responding to a gas explosion in a shopping center.

These are live pictures right now and it appears to show parts of that plaza devastated there. Polo Sandoval is following the developments for us, so Polo, what more are you learning.

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENTS: So Fred, this is what the Fire Department in Plantation, Florida is saying right now that they are responding to a gas explosion involving multiple patients.

Let's look at these images together now Fred, because it really does give you a sense of just how violent that gas explosion was earlier this afternoon.

Again, when it comes to injuries, authorities there on the ground saying only multiple patients. And they're also asking people simply avoid this area, you can see why. The damage is extensive.

As we see these aerial pictures, it's important to also get sort of a lay of the land. You see that gym that, LA Fitness which is basically on the west side. But it seems to be that really what suffered most of the damage is that strip of businesses that's going to be just next to that business, next to the gym. That strip that seems to have been obliterated contains a children's dental office. It also contained, I believe a restaurant. It contains several other businesses.

So we're working to see if anybody was inside that building at the time. It obviously would be extremely devastating. So as we wait to hear more from authorities, all we know officially from authorities on the ground is that this was a gas explosion that took place there in Plantation, Florida.

This is going to be a community that's located just west of Fort Lauderdale -- Fred.

WHITFIELD: And then Polo, what do you know about when this happened? You know, at a time when businesses were open or is this before businesses opened?

SANDOVAL: Sure. There certainly is never a good time for something like this to happen. But it certainly would be concerning that this happened on a Saturday afternoon. There's a grocery store nearby. There, again, that gym that we saw.

So this would certainly be quite populated at this time. You could see that dental office that I mentioned a little while ago. So it's certainly going to play a key role here in the investigation and potentially the total number of injuries that we could potentially see when we get an update from authorities.

But again, at this point, all we know is that multiple patients that are treated there on the ground in Plantation, Florida, after this extremely violent gas explosion.

WHITFIELD: Polo Sandoval, thank you so much. Keep us posted. And we're also following breaking news out of Southern California where people there are surveying the damage from a second powerful earthquake to hit the Ridgecrest area in as many days.

This jolt had a 7.1 magnitude. That's 11 times stronger than the one that hit the day before in that same area.

At any moment now, we expect to hear from local and state emergency officials as they give an update on the damage and the situation on the ground.

The strong quake hit last night terrifying residents, forcing those caught in the shaking to scramble for cover.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Get under the table. Get under the table. [Bleep]. Oh my god. Oh my god.

(INCOMPREHENSIBLE CONVERSATION)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, the front door came open.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's okay. It's okay, just hold on. Hold on. Oh my god. This is bad, Brian.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: This major quake knocked out power to thousands and it sparked several fires as you see right here. It also cracked road, rattled items off the shelves.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You need to back away from the store.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody okay?

(INCOMPREHENSIBLE CONVERSATION)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you get hurt? Is everybody okay?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The air is really thick. Dusty. This is a bad one. It's shaking. It's shaking again.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: And so far there have been no reports of deaths or serious injuries. The epicenter of the quake missed the major cities nearby.

Ridgecrest just sandwich between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, and the tremors were also felt as far south as Mexico. CNN's Sara Sidner has more from Ridgecrest.

[13:05:10] SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Residents of Ridgecrest thought they'd experienced the worst of the shaking Thursday. It turned out the largest earthquake to hit southern California in 20 years, a 6.4 magnitude quake was just a foreshock.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh my God.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh my God.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh my God.

SIDNER (voice over): About 8:20 Friday night, the violent jolt from a 7.1 magnitude quake traumatized the town again.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

BRETT TANNER, RIDGECREST RESIDENT: Cars just started dancing. The dogs were freaking out. The cattle behind us were going nuts.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

SIDNER (voice over): It ruptured gas lines, caused fires.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody okay?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SIDNER (voice over): Knocked out power. Left some residents scraped and bruised and at the very least, scared.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Many of them are sleeping outside tonight. We

are offering any services as noted earlier. We have places for people to shelter here, but many are choosing to just be with their neighbors, both in their sidewalks, in their driveways and some of them are in the streets.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SIDNER (voice over): In the nearby City of Bakersfield, the shifting Earth sent rocks cascading on to a highway and created cracks along the highway.

Across the California border in Las Vegas, the shaking sent a wave of panic in the stands during the NBA Las Vegas Summer League game.

And more than 150 miles away in Los Angeles, tens of thousands of L.A. Dodgers fans felt the familiar, yet unnerving jostling from the quake, though the game went on.

Near the epicenter, seismologists say there is still a chance that the 7.1 is only a foreshock, but the more likely scenario is strong aftershocks that go on for days.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LUCY JONES, USGS SEISMOLOGIST: It's a very energetic system -- sequence. So there's no reason to think that we can't have more large earthquakes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: All right, Sara Sidner. Thank you so much for that. So the U.S. Geological Survey says there is a small chance for another, even more powerful quake could come within the next few days.

CNN meteorologist Chad Myers joins me now from the weather center. So Chad, this was 7.1 preceding that 6.4. And it could still go up from here.

CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Certainly, but the number now, that percentage chance of a larger than seven considering seven is so big, is now down to three percent.

So you know, I mean, Vegas exists because long shots come in. But this is a three percent chance, 97 percent chance against it.

The first earthquake right here and this is funny because we always talk about earthquakes as a dot. Earthquakes are not a dot. Earthquakes are a tear in the ground.

The first tear, the 6.5 was about 20 miles long as the Earth shift. The 7.1 was nearly 40 miles long right through here. So the dot indicates nothing. The dot indicates the center of that tear in which it would either go this way or this way, the beginning of where the tear occurred. The reason why people felt such long duration is because you feel the

shake from here -- you feel the shake from here, you feel the shake from here. It's like when lightning goes across the sky and the thunder rolls for, you know, minutes, it seems like sometimes. The earthquake rolled and rolled all the way to LA even though LA was 150 miles away and the San Andreas Fault is 150 kilometers away. So somewhere in the ballpark of 100 miles away, not associated with the San Andreas Fault at all. Period.

But Fresno felt some shaking. LA felt some light shaking, but the big story here is down Ridgecrest that is where we saw that very severe shaking right there across part of it.

So what does a main quake of 7.1 mean? A three percent chance of getting something bigger than that. This is all logarithmic. And I know it kind of gets very, very confusing, and I'm going to take you back to college for just a minute or two high school or elementary school depending on what school you went to.

Six point one is a probable new aftershock that we're going to see here. But from a five to a six, the power of the shaking, the strength of that shaking is 32 times greater from five to six. From six to seven, that's another 32 times. That's not 64, that's 32 times 32. So a five to a seven is a thousand times more powerful, five seven to a five, is thousand times more powerful than what we would be seeing here if it was just something smaller or slower.

So the initial quake was big. We'll have some earthquakes. We'll have some aftershocks. In fact, almost 700 of them. From here, the earthquake comparison is five times bigger, but because the logarithmic scale, we're talking about 11 times stronger in the shaking of the energy release. It is somewhere in the ballpark of one billion sticks of dynamite just went off.

[13:10:04] WHITFIELD: Oh that's extraordinary and then that people continue to feel you know smaller tremors and are bracing what could potentially be more. I mean, it is beyond frightening for so many.

Chad, thank you. We'll check back with you. Appreciate it. Still ahead, chaotic scenes at a hospital near the epicenter of that earthquake. Doctors and nurses scramble to get wheelchair bound patients to safety. Next, we'll show you images from the earthquake right as it hit.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: Parts of southern California reeling today after a second major earthquake there. A powerful 7.1 magnitude quake rocked the Ridgecrest area last night. It's the second strong earthquake to hit that area since Thursday.

More than 2,000 aftershocks have followed those two powerful quakes which were felt hundreds of miles away in major cities like Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

Here are some of the frightening images of the earthquake as it hit. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Get under the table. Get under the table. [Bleep]. Oh my god. Oh my god.

(INCOMPREHENSIBLE CONVERSATION)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, take it all on video, dude. Oh my God.

(INCOMPREHENSIBLE CONVERSATION)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Center field camera. We are moving a lot right now.

ANNOUNCER: Everyone just -- if you will please.

(INCOMPREHENSIBLE CONVERSATION)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It continues to --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is a very strong earthquake.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To rattle. It's pretty strong here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Eight twenty one here on the air, we are experiencing very strong shaking. I think we need to get under the desk.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wow. All right, we are going to go to break. We will be right back after this. Wow.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We will be right back. We will be right back.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody, okay.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You need to back away from the store.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody okay?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All the pictures on the walls and everything turned over on us. We live on the top floor in an apartment complex. So we was all trying to come out the home and we were shaking down the stairs.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just noticed since some of that, that the whole entire steps was actually shaking and there's was leaning like almost 90 degrees and almost fell and I was like, "You've got to get out of here. Right now. Right now."

JONES: This is definitely a robot sequence, but it's far from unprecedented. It's just on the high side of average.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would probably start taking some stuff off of the walls if there it's not already down. In high places, make sure that you're not sleeping under something that's still hung up.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: So frightening for so many including for Rob Campbell. He is from Atlanta, but was in Ridgecrest, California when that earthquake hit and Rob is on the phone with me right now. So Rob, how are you feeling today?

ROB CAMPBELL, FELT EARTHQUAKE IN RIDGECREST, CALIFORNIA (via phone): Hi, Fredricka. To tell you truth, still a little bit shaken up. It was an absolute bad one last night.

WHITFIELD: So tell me what you experienced and where were you at the time of this quake?

CAMPBELL: Fredricka, it's just -- it's insane. I'm out here in California right now taking the Pacific Crest Trail. It goes from the Canadian border -- or from the Mexican border to the Canadian border. And I stopped in Ridgecrest two nights ago just to resupply. And I got a motel room here. And that's when the earthquake started.

And last night, it was about 7:30 and I just went across the street to the Marshalls to buy some clothes and that's when it hit.

WHITFIELD: Marshalls Store.

CAMPBELL: Yes, ma'am. And it was just I mean, complete bedlam in there. I mean, if you weren't able to see the video, I'm sorry, because it just showed literally just people were just scared out of their mind.

WHITFIELD: Yes, we're looking at it right now. And we can see, I mean, your instinct was to -- you know, get that camera rolling. I mean, you felt -- I'm going to -- you fill in the blanks for me, but I'm going to presume that you felt the movement and then you started recording and then we see, you know that the lights go out.

CAMPBELL: Fredricka, I'm not sure if you're going to be able to see the end just because it was so long, but you know, I will say this, it's my first time in California. And it was just so good to see the resiliency of Californians in general.

I mean, everyone out there and it didn't matter who you were or, you know -- they just all came together for everyone. Total strangers, and I mean, people were crying, grown men were crying. They were scared to death.

But you know, people were just there for them. And it was just -- it really restored your faith in humanity seeing people pull together during a crisis like this.

WHITFIELD: So then, Rob, when you were in the store, and you know, describe for me what it is that you felt, you know, under your feet? And for how long did you feel that?

CAMPBELL: It was -- it was literally like a poltergeist movie. Just the abnormal shaking. Pretend like you were on like a salt and pepper shaker at the amusement park or one of those rides. It was just nonstop up and down and I've never experienced one of

these, Fredricka, and they're frightening.

WHITFIELD: Were you grabbing things trying to hold on?

CAMPBELL: Oh, yes. Oh, yes. All of those things that were swaying in the back, the rails and the clothing, you know, you're just literally reaching for that because -- I heard one of your callers, like they were saying like 90 degree angles and things like that.

That's literally -- I mean, you're getting tossed and turned. So one minute you're standing straight up and the next minute, you know, you're at a 45-degree angle just trying to reach up to hold something.

WHITFIELD: Were you screaming or other people screaming? What were you hearing as this was happening?

CAMPBELL: A lot of -- well, that siren was loud enough to certainly alert people and people I mean, they literally were running for the doors from the dressing rooms. One guy just -- I mean, he was in there without his pants and he -- you know, you just had to get out and it was so good because obviously, it seems like Californians did have like a hurricane emergency plan in place because the employees at Marshalls.

I mean they didn't miss a beat. They were the ones that were most frightened, you could tell, but they just all stepped up and you know, evacuating people and searching the store for somebody that might be, God forbid, be unconscious.

[13:20:12] WHITFIELD: So Rob, I know it felt like an eternity, but I'm wondering do you think any real concept of time of like how long the shaking was going on in a matter of, you know, 30 seconds, but it felt like an eternity or was this minutes long?

CAMPBELL: Great, great, great question, Fredricka, to tell you the truth, I just lost all concept of time. Because I mean, I've seen earthquakes in the past and how damaging they can be, and you know, that's what I was thinking about and the time it just you know, it was an eternity.

WHITFIELD: I bet it was. Wow, what incredible harrowing moments. I'm glad you're okay. Sorry, that was your first time to California and your first experience out there.

But I'm glad you're well, and that you were able to share us -- share with us these images because they really do put us there. It really speaks to the experience. Rob Campbell, thank you so much. Appreciate it.

CAMPBELL: Thank you so much, Fredricka and you have a great day.

WHITFIELD: And you as well. Thank you. So this is, you know, far from the first earthquake for many Californians.

For others, though, they have gone through smaller magnitude, and they still feel like it left a huge impression. We're going to look back at some of the biggest, most significant earthquakes the Californians have experienced.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[13:25:18] WHITFIELD: Last night, a strong earthquake in Southern California knocked out power to thousands of homes and businesses. But some businesses managed to stay open despite the damage. Here now is CNN's Paul Vercammen.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm here inside this convenience and liquor store here in Ridgecrest to get a sense of what happened inside some of these buildings. Just stuff knocked down everywhere. Bottles off the shelves, broken here. The owner, Anton, says in the two days that they've been rocked by this quake inside the store, he believes that they've had more than $100,000.00 worth of damage.

You can clearly see strong, knocking things off shelves, doors down. As we said, shattered glass and bottles everywhere.

It's going to be a long time cleaning up, but to the credit of the people in the store, they've stayed open. And we've seen a steady stream of people coming in here to grab whatever it is they need including vital things water.

Reporting from Ridgecrest, I'm Paul Vercammen.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: All right, 7.1 earthquake last night. All right, still ahead battling for votes in the Bayou, 2020 candidates are pitching themselves to voters at the Annual Essence Festival in New Orleans. Why that venue is quickly becoming an important stop for Democrats, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[13:30:00]

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: 2020 Democratic candidates are battling for votes in the bayou, seven of them are appearing at the Essence Fest in New Orleans.

Today, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, Beto O'Rourke, Bill de Blasio, Michael Bennett, Pete Buttigieg will be speaking there tomorrow.

The Essence Festival is marking 25 years of celebrating black culture. Organizers say candidates who attend have an opportunity to talk to one of the most powerful constituencies in American politics.

Joining me right now is CNN contributor and Republican former Congressman Charlie Dent and CNN contributor and former Director of Communications Outreach for the Hillary Clinton Campaign, Jess McIntosh. Good to see you both.

JESS MCINTOSH, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Hi, thanks.

WHITFIELD: All right, so Jess, let me begin with you how important, how vital has it become for candidates to show their face in the place there at the Essence Fest, you know, just ahead of a presidential race?

MCINTOSH: I mean, it honestly couldn't be more important. Essence Fest is one of the largest gatherings, period. It's about half a million folks all descending on New Orleans. It is vast majority black women.

Black women are the base of the Democratic Party. They are the ones who do the largest share of that volunteer work that is absolutely critical for any candidate who is going to have a ground game rolling.

They are a huge donor base. They are a voter base. So going to a city where half a million are congregated to hear from candidates and have other cultural experiences, frankly, just make sense.

I'm not sure why that number of candidates showing up in New Orleans this weekend isn't significantly higher.

WHITFIELD: And so Charlie, you know, a presidential contender only seemed to really get it back in 2017. It was then Senator Barack Obama who, you know, made an appearance there at the Fest and thereafter, other Democrats have kind of followed suit. So is it a big problem if you are a presidential candidate, and you're not there?

CHARLES DENT, FORMER U.S. REPRESENTATIVE: I do think it's a bit of a problem for Democrats, as Jess said, you know, African-Americans, particularly African-American women have an outsized voice in the Democratic primary. So it's essential that candidates get in front of this type of audience.

But just as important as being there is the message that they're going to present or project. I think Democrats are making a mistake, though, if they're going to continue to talk about issues like forced school busing, reparations, these are -- as a political matter are not good issues. And I always like to talk about the Scranton test.

A lot of people like to talk about Scranton, Pennsylvania. But I think some of those types of issues are not going to play well in a general election in areas that Barack Obama won and the that Donald Trump won in those types of regions of the country.

So I think their message to this audience, they have to keep an eye towards the general election, not just pandering to a primary audience in New Orleans.

WHITFIELD: So Jess, do you disagree?

MCINTOSH: Yes, obviously, I don't think it's pandering at all to talk to a black audience about issues that black people care about. I think if we apply the kind of tests to every Democratic agenda that says, is this going to fit perfectly comfortable with the white working class in a rust belt state? We're going to wind up leaving a lot of issues on the table that are very, very important for folks to be able to address at this point.

We're living in a really polarized country right now and we've got to have this nuanced conversation.

WHITFIELD: You know, and an example Jess, of, you know, talking issues, Kamala Harris, at the Jazz Fest is talking about home ownership. Home ownership is something that all Americans, everyone is aspiring to do that, but particularly in the black community, when there are so many disparities, you know, with whether it's getting loans, et cetera.

She is unveiling a plan, you know, at the Jazz Fest, I'm hoping that that really resonates with an audience there but of course, eventually taking it broader.

MCINTOSH: Yes, and I think that that's a really special thing to do. For far too long, Democratic candidates sort of looked at talking about criminal justice reform as the be-all end-all of addressing the issues of a black audience. And what we're seeing this year is there are candidates who are bringing a real awareness of the historical challenges that black families have had in terms of creating and maintaining and passing down generational wealth that white Americans largely haven't had to deal with, the systemic levels of oppression.

So we've seen some really, really exciting agenda platforms from Kamala Harris, from Elizabeth Warren. These candidates seem to understand that there is a really large, holistic way to approach the racial wealth gap in this country. And this is an exciting weekend to be talking about it for sure.

WHITFIELD: So Charlie, in that exclusive interview with Chris Cuomo, Joe Biden was explaining you know, his strategies about Democratic loyalties. Take a listen to part of what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Look who won the races. Look who won last time out. We have -- and by the way, I think Ocasio- Cortez is a brilliant bright woman, but she won a primary. In the general election fights, who won?

[13:35:09] BIDEN: Mainstream Democrats who are very progressive on social issues, and very strong on education, healthcare.

Look, my north star is the middle class. When the middle class does well, everybody does well.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: So Charlie, you know, Joe Biden is saying, you know, he understands the Democratic audience. Does he seem to have his finger on the pulse there? DENT: I think he does. The New Democratic members of Congress who

helped deliver the majority to the Democrats and then Nancy Pelosi as speaker took seats that were held by Republicans.

So these Democrats could not run hard left. They weren't talking about Medicare-for-All. They were not talking about a Green New Deal or reparations. They were talking about healthcare, they were talking about the economy, they were talking about jobs, issues that resonated with a broad swath of the American public.

So I think the Vice President is absolutely right about that, that these that, you know, it wasn't AOC, who delivered the majority to the Democrats. It was the standard bearers of the world and many others in Pennsylvania and New Jersey and in places like South Carolina and Oklahoma and California who delivered the majority.

And then we're not talking about issues that many of the presidential candidates are speaking about at the moment.

WHITFIELD: All right, we'll leave it there for now. Jess McIntosh, Charlie Dent, good to see you. Thank you so much.

All right, next, a judge says that a teenager accused of rape deserves leniency because pressing charges would ruin the young man's life. Outrage growing over that story.

And CNN is watching breaking news, a gas explosion out of Florida. We're learning that at least 20 people were taken to the hospital. Live updates at the top of the hour.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[13:40:47] WHITFIELD: Welcome back. A New Jersey judges under fire after a controversial verdict in a rape case.

Last year, the judge ruled a 16-year-old boy accused of raping a 16- year-old girl at a party deserved leniency because he was headed for a quote "good college."

CNN's Athena Jones has more.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): A New Jersey Family Court judge is under fire after ruling a 16-year-old boy accused of raping an intoxicated 16-year-old girl should not be tried as an adult, in part because he comes from a good family.

The decision by Judge James Troiano was reversed last month, allowing prosecutors to pursue an indictment in adult court.

The case that stems from a 2017 incident where the alleged attacker identified in court papers as GMC and the alleged victim identified as Mary were both intoxicated.

According to court documents, GMC filmed himself penetrating Mary from behind on his cell phone, displaying her bare torso and her head hanging down.

He forwarded the video clip to several friends and later sent a text saying, "When your first time having sex was rape." The prosecutor argue GMC had sex with Mary while she was physically helpless and unable to provide consent. And that GMC's behavior was calculated and cruel.

In denying the prosecutor's request to move the case to adult court. Judge Troiano argued the incident wasn't a traditional case of rape, because it did not involve two or more attackers, or a weapon.

He said GMC's texts was just a 16-year-old kid saying stupid crap to his friends. Troiano also dismissed Mary's level of intoxication and noted the boy was an Eagle Scout, saying, "This young man comes from a good family who put him into an excellent school where he was doing extremely well. He is clearly a candidate for not just college, but probably for a good college."

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: All right, thanks to Athena Jones there. All right, let's bring in our legal guys now, Avery Friedman is a civil rights attorney and law professor and Richard Herman, a criminal defense attorney and law professor. All right. Good to see you both.

Okay. So we've got the appellate court who now says this has got to be sent back, you know, before a judge this time in an adult court. So Avery, is there already a message now being sent? I mean, will this be tantamount to or lead to a fair trial?

AVERY FRIEDMAN, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY: Well, I think there's no question but that the reversal object Troiano tease it up for a fair trial. The decision that was written by this particular judge was just reprehensible.

The idea that because someone comes from a good family somehow excuses the horrific violence of this young woman is just inexcusable and good for the Court of Appeals.

Though the judges there made it very clear, this is wrong. It doesn't matter if you're rich, you're poor, you're a good student, or you're a bad student. In fact, if anything, a good family would have taught this young man that what he did is unacceptable in any respect.

So look forward to this case going to a grand jury, look for the indictment and look for the trial going forward in adult court.

WHITFIELD: So Richard, do you see that this reversal would impact this new criminal trial?

RICHARD HERMAN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, it definitely put the case in the headlines, right? People who haven't heard about this now know about it in Monmouth County, New Jersey. The problem is that this judge has completely lost his mind, and I know he's retired right now, Judge Troiano, get that name -- Troiano -- but he still sits on the bench and hears cases, which is beyond me. The man should be investigated criminally to see if he took a bribe

here. He should be investigated by the Judicial Grievance Committee and the Attorney Grievance Committee because his rationale, Fred, was so off the wall in this case that he definitely was not in law school the day they taught law.

He went out of his way to protect this young man. He claims it wasn't cruel. It wasn't predatory. This young girl was locked in a basement with a table blocking the door with her head banging into the wall, as this guy's videoing saying, "Hey, the first time having sex should be rape." This is what he did. These are the facts of the case and the Appellate Division reversed and rebuked because being an Eagle Scout, or coming from a good family or getting good test scores, doesn't give you a pass on rape or sexual violence.

FRIEDMAN: That's right. That's exactly right.

HERMAN: So -- but the prosecution hasn't brought charges, Fred, they're sitting back. They haven't done anything yet.

[13:45:27] FRIEDMAN: They're going to move forward. You know, Fredricka, what's really --

WHITFIELD: And if they do, I mean, damning evidence will be perhaps that video that was circulated.

FRIEDMAN: Oh, I absolutely part of the evidence. The thing that's so troubling here is that you can't really figure out what Judge Troiano had in mind, the idea of concentrating on good grades or good family and knowing the video was there with this child being injured. And literally, Richard is right, her head being banged against the wall is just so outrageous.

It should have gone to the adult court, it will go to the adult court, and frankly, that judge is appointed by a judicial consul, it's time to remove him. It's time to get somebody else. The retired judge, whatever he's done in the past, it's over. Time for him to leave the bench.

WHITFIELD: And this might be very challenging, and for other circumstances, too. I mean, a change of venue perhaps that, you know, audiences have been swayed by what they're learning from this appellate process, Richard, so, I mean, there are going to be a lot of challenges here.

HERMAN: Yes, there may be Fred, I don't think it's going to -- I don't think they're going to change venue on this case. I think it's properly situated in Monmouth County. A lot of cases get reversed. It's just this judge was off the wall and the Appellate Division not only reversed them, they rebuked them, Fred.

There was another similar case like this, he also got reversed and rebuked on and they told him you cannot substitute your own interpretation of the facts and your own fantasy or what the law is versus what the prosecution does based on legal factors.

FRIEDMAN: That's right. That's exactly right.

HERMAN: That's what they said. So it's a horrific rebuke on this guy. And it's so outrageous that he should be investigated, because it's so outrageous, something had -- we're missing the pieces of the puzzle here, Fred.

FRIEDMAN: Beyond the fact that it is outrageous, but it really reminds you of the Brock Turner case in California. Remember that was the Stanford swimmer, the judge gave him six months and ultimately that resulted in a recall. That won't happen here because he is appointed.

I think you're not going to see any further service on the belt by this judge.

HERMAN: So if he doesn't come from a good family, he doesn't have good grades, he gets -- then he could get prosecuted for rape, but if he comes from a good family and he has good grades, he doesn't. It's ridiculous, Fred. It's insane. Horrible.

WHITFIELD: And then Richard, before I let you go, you are there in Las Vegas. You felt the tremor from that earthquake 7.1 in California last night.

HERMAN: Yes, I got -- I got back last night and I'm writing up CNN For You today, Fred. And the house is swayed like eight times like my head does when Avery speaks you know, going like this. And yes, it was scary.

FRIEDMAN: Well, and that's right. And you know what? I think the earthquake might have also been existing before it actually happened with, Richard, so you never know.

WHITFIELD: All right. Avery, Richard, thank you so much. I always appreciate you.

All right, meantime, CNN is watching this other breaking news, a gas explosion out of Florida at least 20 people taken to the hospital. Live updates coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[13:52:10] WHITFIELD: Starting tomorrow, the all new CNN original series "The Movies." We will explore American cinema through the decades showcasing the biggest Hollywood stars and most pivotal moments in films like this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MR. MIYAGI, FICTIONAL CHARACTER, THE KARATE KID: Show me wax on, wax off.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: And who could forget Mr. Miyagi and of course, Daniel san. Our Anderson Cooper got a chance to speak with the original Karate Kid, Ralph Macchio. Here's their conversation.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Looking back now, "The Karate Kid," how do you how do you see it? I mean, that was -- you'd been in the outsiders before then, you're already well known that certainly changed the course of your career.

RALPH MACCHIO, ACTOR: You know that that film has from the get-go, even though it was kind of a sleeper build success. I think "Ghostbusters" came out that seems summer and maybe "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and "The Karate Kid" was one of those talked about building -- building its audience, people returning, going back to see it and people you know, doing the crane kick in the street. And that's when you sort of you kind of knew where we might be making another one of these. It was --

COOPER: Did you know -- I mean, you know, nobody sets out to make bad movies. But did you know when you were making it that it would have that kind of appeal?

MACCHIO: We knew that Pat Morita and I had something special. And that came -- it was evident for me by how easy it was to work with him. That sort of give and take that we had.

COOPER: How often do people still you know, pass you on the street and say, "Wax on wax off"? Is this the bane of your existence?

MACCHIO: Well, we have the show, this "Cobra Kai" series right now on YouTube Premium that has blown up. We've had two seasons. We start our third season.

COOPER: You also come out, I think you're a funnier guy.

MACCHIO: Yes. Yes, wax on, bleep off. That was my little baby on my terms. Thank you. It's my best four minutes of the day. I really enjoyed that. It was well done. But yes, you know, sweep the leg, get them in a body, get him a body bag. I mean, that stuff become part of the American lexicon.

It's become this this pop culture. The theories was -- was the kick illegal. You know, no one was not cheering for Daniel Larusso in 1984.

But it's kind of fun to say you know what? He was a little bit of a, you know, he pushed it a little bit.

COOPER: I actually did kind of like the bigger blond guy.

MACCHIO: Well, listen. I think I get that.

COOPER: And so it was based on other things.

MACCHIO: He was in way better shape.

COOPER: He seemed like a jerk, but -- MACCHIO: He doesn't have the -- right. It's okay.

COOPER: He had a certain appeal to me.

MACCHIO: Everyone likes the bad boy.

[13:55:09] COOPER: I also had an odd thing about Elisabeth Shue.

MACCHIO: An odd thing.

COOPER: Well, I mean, as a gay guy, I kind of had a crush on her. And I actually know a lot of other gay guys who also had crushes on her. Who were you friendliest with on the set? Please tell me, Elizabeth Shue. I'm kidding.

MACCHIO: Well, listen, how do I respond to that? Yes.

COOPER: I'm really actually here to talk about her.

MACCHIO: I know.

COOPER: That's true.

MACCHIO: I see. I see. I see that on the warm up. You know, I was close with obviously Pat Morita. Randee Heller played my mom. I think that dynamic this single mom raising the son, raising, you know, single parent in another town, that fish out of water element, all those human levels, which is why I think the film works and resonates and always has worked.

COOPER: Well. I appreciate you coming in and talking. Everybody is rooting for you always. So it's great to actually meet you.

MACCHIO: Great. Great to be here. Thank you, Anderson.

COOPER: Thanks. Appreciate it.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: And be sure to tune in, the all new CNN original series, "The Movies" premieres tomorrow at 9:00 p.m. only on CNN.

All right, still ahead. Thousands are without power and many people are afraid to stay in their homes after two powerful earthquakes rocks California. We will take you back to California live, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[14:00:00]