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Greek-American Producer among the CNN Crew Arrested while reporting on Minneapolis Protests (Vid)

Αssociated Press

Protestors demonstrate outside of a burning Minneapolis 3rd Police Precinct, Thursday, May 28, 2020, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

MINNEAPOLIS — Greek-American producer Bill Kirkos was among the CNN television crew arrested by the Minnesota State Patrol on Friday as they reported on violent protests in Minneapolis following the death of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man who pleaded for air as a white police officer kneeled on his neck.

Atlanta-based CNN said that the crew, which also included CNN reporter Omar Jimenez, and photojournalist Leonel Mendez was, released later Friday morning.

While live on air, Jimenez was handcuffed and led away. Kirkos and Mendezwas for CNN were also led away in handcuffs.

CNN's communications team earlier said on Twitter that the crew was arrested “for doing their jobs, despite identifying themselves — a clear violation of their First Amendment rights.”

The Minnesota State Patrol said on Twitter that the journalists were among four people arrested as troopers were “clearing the streets and restoring order." The patrol said they “were released once they were confirmed to be members of the media.”

Late Thursday in Minneapolis, cheering protesters torched a police station that the department abandoned as three days of violent protests spread to nearby St. Paul and angry demonstrations flared across the U.S.