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Looting and Fires in Minneapolis Lead to CNN Arrest and Twitter Warning on Trump

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Looting and Fires in Minneapolis Lead to CNN Arrest and Twitter Warning on Trump

2020-05-29 16:14:16

Looting and Fires in Minneapolis Lead to CNN Arrest and Twitter Warning on Trump

By Laura Tucker, Staff writer; Image: CNN reporter Omar Jiminez being arrested (Image source: Screenshot)

It's hard to believe anything could knock the coronavirus pandemic of the front page, but Minnesota this week has managed it. The death of a black man at the knee of a police officer has led to looting, a burning police precinct, the arrest of a CNN crew, and Trump being pummeled yet again by Twitter.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz announced in a press conference, "What the world has witnessed since the killing of George Floyd on Monday has been a visceral pain, a community trying to understand who we are and where we go from here." 

He acknowledged that the looting and fires taking place in the streets were distracting officials from addressing the issues.

"As we put the presence on the street to restore order, it is to open that space, to seek justice, and heal what happened," said the governor. "I will not in any way not acknowledge that there is going to be that pain, but my first and foremost responsibility to the state of Minnesota is the safety and security of all citizens. We cannot have the looting and recklessness that went on." 

Floyd was arrested on Monday after he allegedly used a counterfeit bill at a convenience store. Police have said he resisted arrest. Yet, video has surfaced that shows the police dragging him out of his car, leading to a police officer kneeling on his neck while he was handcuffed.

The 46-year-old cried out that he couldn't breathe while bystanders can be heard telling the officers the same thing. He stopped moving and talking in the video, and someone rushed in to check for a pulse. Floyd was later pronounced dead at a hospital. 

While all officers involved were immediately fired when the video came to light, on Friday, the officer seen with his knee on Floyd's neck, Derek Chauvin, was taken into custody, according to Minnesota Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington.

Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder. 

There seems to be a disturbing pattern of Minneapolis officers not being able to detect true crime. Early Friday morning, CNN was live on air covering the looting and fires, and the crew was surrounded by police and taken into custody with the camera rolling.

State police in riot gear held CNN correspondent Omar Jiminez, his producer, and a cameraman shortly after 5 a.m. local time. The crew was in a street south of the downtown area, near the burning police precinct.  

The reporter held up his badge, identified who he was, and offered to go wherever the officers wanted them to go.

"We can move back to where you like. We are live on the air here. ... Put us back where you want us. We are getting out of your way," he said. "We were just getting out of your way when you were advancing through the intersection." 

It was not evident to the crew at the time why they were being arrested. Both Jiminez and the producer were taken into custody live on air. The cameraman was as well and set the camera down, still running, as he was handcuffed. The camera continued to run on the ground and was then picked up and carried off, still running, assumably by the state police.

Walz told CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker that he deeply apologized, and the crew was released after more than an hour in custody. The governor told reporters later, "We have got to ensure that there is a safe spot for journalism to tell the story." 

While Donald Trump may have gotten away with inciting violence in the past, the country is more awoke at this point. On Thursday night, he threatened on Twitter to bring the National Guard into Minneapolis to get the area under control. This led to yet another warning to him from the social network.

"I can't stand back and watch this happen to a great American City, Minneapolis," wrote the president, as he put blame at the feet of Mayor Jacob Frey for the unrest in the city's streets. 

"These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won't let that happen," Trump continued. "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!"

Twitter hit these posts with a "public interest notice" for "glorifying violence," then hid the tweets away from view. 

To explain their actions, Twitter said, "We've taken action in the interest of preventing others from being inspired to commit violent acts but have kept the tweet on Twitter because it is important that the public still be able to see the tweet given its relevance to ongoing matters of public importance."

The social network then moved to hide the tweet behind a notice that said it breached the policies for "glorifying violence. It can be viewed and retweeted, but it cannot be liked or replied to. 

On marking it as glorifying violence, Twitter wrote, "This tweet violates our policies regarding the glorification of violence based on the historical context of the last line, its connection to violence, and the risk it could inspire similar actions today."

The White House's official Twitter account retweeted the post and included the content that is now hidden from view. Twitter followed up and hid that tweet as well.  

The White House later claimed Twitter "has determined that it will allow terrorists, dictators, and foreign propagandists to abuse its platform." This post oddly included a picture of a post from Iran's supreme leader, Ali Khamenei.

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