Land of the free? Minnesota cops arrest reporters covering the protests over George Lloyd's death


Over the last few days there have been massive protests in Minneapolis over the recent over the death of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man who pleaded for air as a white police officer knelt on his neck. Video footage of the incident shows Floyd pleading as Officer Derek Chauvin presses his knee against him. Gradually, Floyd appears to stop talking and moving. Purportedly, he had said that he couldn't breathe.

Soon after his death, "icantbreathe" was trending on Twitter and the outrage had moved away from mere social media posts. Over the last few days, there have been protests, and counter-action taken by the police. Reports of arson and vandalism and looting have also come in.

But the police response has been prompt, if perhaps a tad bit misplaced. On Friday morning, police officials arrested a CNN journalist and his crew as they were reporting live from the site of the protests in Minneapolis.

Journalist Omar Jimenez as well as the crew, including a producer and a camera operator, were placed in handcuffs. The camera however kept rolling, with officials perhaps unaware of the same.

In the video footage that was tweeted by CNN, Jimenez can be heard asking why he was under arrest. Someone can also be heard repeatedly saying that the team was with CNN.

According to an AP report on Friday, while parts of St Paul's and Minneapolis burned, elsewhere peaceful protesters demanded justice as they marched.

Cheering protesters torched a Minneapolis police station that the department had abandoned, while in the St Paul's area, there were clouds of smoke in the air as police armed with batons and wearing gas masks and body armor kept an eye on protesters. Firefighters could be seen spraying out water to quell several small fires, and at one point, officers stood in line in front of a Target, trying to keep out looters, who were also smashing windows of other businesses.

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter has urged people to stay home instead of coming out to protest. "Please keep the focus on George Floyd, on advancing our movement and on preventing this from ever happening again," he had tweeted.