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.”
A CNN reporter & 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 authorities in Minnesota, incl. the Governor, must release the 3 CNN employees immediately.— CNN Communications (@CNNPR) May 29, 2020
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.