Intl desk, May 29: 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.Jimenez’s crew, including a producer and a camera operator, were also placed in handcuffs.
Meanwhile, United States President Donald Trump on Friday warned that he would “send in the National Guard and get the job done right” if protests in Minnesota were not curbed.
He was referring to ongoing demonstrations against the killing of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man who died after Minneapolis police arrested him on Monday on suspicion of using a counterfeit banknote. Police handcuffed him and held him to the ground, with a bystander video showing an officer pressing his knee on Floyd’s neck.
The videos showed Floyd saying that he couldn’t breathe until he went silent and limp. He was later declared dead.
In a two-part tweet, Trump blamed Minneapolis “very weak Radical Left” mayor, Jacob Frey, for failing to control the protests that had grown violent in some parts of the city. The US president further said that he had told Minnesota’s Governor Tim Walz that the “military is with him all the way” and went on to warn that law enforcement will resort to shooting if violent protests did not stop.
“These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen,” Trump tweeted. “Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!”
Chaotic scenes as police clash with protesters
Dramatic scenes have unfolded in Minneapolis after the police arrived on the scene and clashed with protesters. It was the first time authorities had been seen on the scene in more than an hour.
The police officers, some in riot gear, immediately launched into action, using pepper spray and batons to disperse crowds near the police station. Police were seen shoving at least one person, while protesters responded by throwing projectiles at the officers as others fled the site.
Police and fire engines have arrived at the epicenter of the protests in Minneapolis, where a number of buildings have been burning.
CNN crew on the site witnessed the authorities arriving to the scene just after 4:30 a.m. ET.
A large number of protesters are still out early this morning in Minneapolis and a number of buildings are on fire.
Hundreds of people are still protesting near the Minneapolis police building in the 3rd Precinct.
At least five other buildings in the vicinity of the station are in flames. One of the burning structures that has now been destroyed by the fire was an events space with a multiple restaurants about a block away from the police station. A liquor store across the street from the station has also been burned down.
Source: News Agencies and CNN