Washington, May 30 (IANS) A CNN journalist was arrested live on air while covering protests in the US city of Minneapolis over the death of an unarmed black man in police custody, it was reported.
On Friday, Omar Jimenez was in Minneapolis reporting on a third night of violent protests against the death of 46-year-old African-American George Floyd on Monday after being detained on suspicion of trying to use a fake $20 bill at a supermarket in the city, the BBC reported.
Jimenez was reporting live on an arrest happening in the area where a police station was burnt out.
After the crew caught the arrest on camera, police officers started moving towards them and instructed them to move.
On the video, Jimenez identifies himself as a CNN journalist and can be heard telling the officers: “We can move back to where you’d like here. We are live on the air at the moment.”
An officer in riot gear then says, “You are under arrest” and leads him away in handcuffs.
His cameraman and producer were also detained, apparently because they did not move on when told. The three were later released without charge, reports the BBC.
CNN called the arrests a “clear violation of their First Amendment rights” in a tweet.
The First Amendment to the US constitution protects freedom of speech and of association.
Minnesota governor Tim Walz has apologised, describing the incident as “unacceptable” and took “full responsibility” for the incident.
Protests have erupted across the US against Floyd’s death.
In videos recorded by passers-by, Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, is seen holding Floyd down with a knee on his neck although the victim repeatedly pleaded, “I can’t breathe”, and “please, I can’t breathe”.
On Friday, Chauvin was arrested and charged with three-degree murder and manslaughter.