US: CNN crew nabbed while covering protests released

Arrest occured during live coverage of George Floyd protests in state of Minnesota

A CNN reporter and his production team released Friday after they were arrested earlier while covering the protests over George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis, Minnesota. “We can confirm that @OmarJimenez and the CNN crew arrested this morning in Minneapolis have been released,” CNN Communications said on Twitter. The crew was released an hour after CNN urged authorities to release its three CNN employees, saying they were doing their jobs and called the arrests “a clear violation of their First Amendment rights.

“CNN journalist Omar Jimenez has been taken into police custody during a live broadcast at the site of the protests in Minneapolis, after clearly identifying himself to officers,” it said. CNN also claimed that police didn’t arrest a white reporter also on the ground but its black reporter Jimenez. His crew, including a producer and a camera operator, were also placed in handcuffs. CNN’s camera that taken into custody was recording the arrest while police likely unaware that the camera was still on. CNN shared the footage on Twitter.

Floyd, 46, was taken into custody on Monday in Minneapolis, Minnesota after reportedly attempting to use a counterfeit $20 bill at a local store. Video footage on Facebook showed the unarmed black man handcuffed and cooperating. But police claim he resisted arrest. One of the officers kneeled on his neck, despite Floyd’s repeated pleas of “I can’t breathe.”

Shortly after, Floyd appeared to lose consciousness, but the officer maintained his position on the victim. He died shortly after being taken to a hospital. Four officers have been fired over the killing, which sparked mass protests and an outcry against police brutality.

Floyd’s family said they want the officers to be charged with murder. Floyd’s death has strong parallels to that of Eric Garner, who died during a fatal 2014 arrest in New York, repeatedly pleading with officers, “I can’t breathe. The phrase became a rallying point for protesters demonstrating against the killings of unarmed black men and women by police. It has continued to resonate nearly six years later.

Source: Anadolu Agency