A CNN reporter covering the Minneapolis protests over the death of black man in custody has been arrested live on air by riot police.
The reporter, Omar Jimenez, was arrested alongside his production team on a street in Minneapolis, Minnesota, just after 5am (local time) on Friday.
Mr Jimenez, a black reporter, had just shown a protester being arrested when about half a dozen white police officers surrounded him.
“We can move back to where you like,” he told the officers wearing gas masks and face shields, before explaining live on-air that he and his crew were members of the press.
“We’re getting out of your way.
“This is among the state patrol unit that was advancing up the street, seeing and scattering the protesters at that point for people to clear the area. And so we walked away,” Jimenez said to the camera before being told he was under arrest and handcuffed by two officers.
“Why am I under arrest, sir?” he was heard saying.
One of the crew members later told the network the crew were detained because they didn’t move when police told them to.
"A CNN reporter and his production team were arrested this morning in Minneapolis for doing their jobs, despite identifying themselves – a clear violation of their First Amendment rights,” the network said in a statement.
— Tyler R. Tynes (@TylerRickyTynes) May 29, 2020
“The authorities in Minnesota, including the Governor, must release the three CNN employees immediately.”
CNN later reported network president Jeff Zucker spoke to Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, who said the arrest was “inadvertent” and the crew members and reporter were released a short time later.
The team was there to cover protests after four police involved in the arrest of George Floyd, who died in custody, were not penalised by the law.
Anger over the incident grew when footage surfaced showing one of the officers kneeling into Mr Floyd’s neck before the handcuffed and unarmed man expressed that he couldn’t breath.
Thursday marked a third night of arson, looting and vandalism in Minnesota over the death of Mr Floyd.
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