The agents gave no explanation while escorting journalist Omar Jimenez. He had just shown the arrest of a protester when half a dozen gas masked police surrounded him. More than an hour later, the crew was released.
“What reassured me was that it happened on live television,” Jimenez told viewers after his release. “You have no doubt about my story, it is by no means filtered; you saw it with your own eyes. ”
The officer who knelt on George Floyd’s neck received more than a dozen complaints before shooting.
Striking images of the arrest could add to racial tension in the city and across the country, where expressions of sympathy have taken place. Jimenez is black, while most of the police who arrested him appeared to be white.
Thursday marked a third night of arson, looting and vandalism in the city of Minnesota following the death of a black man, George Floyd, seen on breathless video as a white police officer began to knees.
Violent protests erupt in Minneapolis after the death of George Floyd
“A CNN reporter and his production team were arrested this morning in Minneapolis for doing their job, despite their identity – a clear violation of their First Amendment rights. Minnesota authorities, including the governor, must immediately release the three CNN employees, “CNN wrote on Twitter before the crew was released.
CNN anchor John Berman told viewers about an hour after the arrest that CNN President Adam Zucker had spoken with Minnesota Governor Tim Walz who said he “apologizes deeply ”and was working to get the team released immediately.
Jimenez said the crew had been standing on a street for about an hour and a half before police began. They moved to a corner to move away, he said.
On air, Jimenez told officers wearing gas masks and face shields that he wanted to know where to go to escape and explained that he was a member of the press.
“It is part of the state patrol unit that was advancing on the street, seeing and dispersing the demonstrators at that time so that people could clear the area. And so we walked away, “said Jimenez before being told that he was under arrest and handcuffed by two police officers. “Why am I under arrest, sir? “
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Walz, who is scheduled to hold a press conference later on Friday, declared a state of emergency in Minnesota and ordered the activation of the National Guard. President Donald Trump suggested in a tweet that looters would be shot. Twitter hid Trump’s tweet with a warning to “glorify the violence.”
Protests have also broken out in other major cities across the country, including Louisville, Kentucky, where police said seven people were killed.