America has always been a police state but early Friday May 29 morning, the entire world saw it on television, live!
CNN reporter Omar Jimenez was broadcasting live from the scene of the protests in St Louis (MO), over the police killing of George Floyd, the 46-year-old African American man, on May 25.
Floyd was pinned down while the police officer pressed his knee against his neck.
The murder has led to protests every evening not only in St Louis but also in many other cities across the US.
Jimenez, who is black, identified himself as CNN reporter and told the police on camera that he would move to where they wanted him and his crew to move to.
Throughout his interaction with the police, Jimenez was polite and cooperative, yet Minnesota state police still arrested him accusing the CNN crew of refusing to move when asked to do so.
Since the camera was rolling as Jimenez was handcuffed and led away, video of the confrontation, which was seen live on CNN, showed the reporter repeatedly agreeing to cooperate.
He was polite and did not resist arrest although he asked why he was being arrested.
The police gave no reason for his arrest.
Other members of the CNN crew were also arrested.
They were released after being detained for one hour at the police station.
The police issued a statement saying once they ‘confirmed the identity’ of the CNN crew, they were released!
This was utterly false.
Jimenez and his crew had showed their badges proving their identity but the police were not interested.
CNN demanded on air the release of their crew.
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz publicly apologized for the arrests after the crew was released.
He also personally apologized to CNN President Jeff Zucker but the damage was done.
The entire world witnessed that America is a fascist state and that the police are totally out of control.
There was outrage from the journalistic fraternity at this assault on freedom to report.
The Committee to Protect Journalists, an organization that monitors press freedom around the world, expressed anger over the arrest.
“It’s difficult to imagine what police needed as ‘confirmation that these individuals were members of the media’ beyond Omar Jimenez showing his press badge while he spoke into a CNN camera surrounded by his producer and crew,” said CPJ Program Director Carlos Martinez de la Serna in a statement.
“Journalists have a responsibility to report on matters of public interest, such as protests, and should be able to freely cover these events without fear of retaliation from authorities. These arrests ring of intimidation and are simply outrageous.”
Protests were sparked by the brutal killing of Floyd that was witnessed by many passersby.
They pleaded with the assaulting Minnesota police officer, Derek Chauvin, to ease his knee pressure on Floyd’s neck who repeatedly cried, “I can’t breathe”, and “Don’t kill me”.
The choking death of Floyd was captured on cell phone camera.
Following four nights of protests, that sometimes turned violent and have spread to other cities, Derek Chauvin was finally arrested on Friday May 29 but charged with only third degree murder and manslaughter.
Attorney Benjamin Crump representing Floyd’s family has demanded that Chauvin be charged with first degree murder and the three other officers with him must also be arrested and charged. He has also called for Floyd's body to be handed over to the family to conduct an independent autopsy, clearly expressing dissatisfaction with the "official autopsy" report.
Far from realizing the gravity of the situation and the outrage it has caused throughout the US pertaining to the routine killing of blacks by the police, US President Donald Trump waded in with his own racist tweet.
“These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen,” Trump tweeted about the protesters. “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 flagged Trump’s tweet for violating its policy on “glorifying violence.”
The twitter-in-chief later tried to back-peddle but his remark advocating violence had exposed, yet again, his racist nature.
That is not surprising.
Americans are seething with anger at the ongoing police brutality against African Americans.
There is little or no accountability for the police.
On the night of Friday-Saturday (May 29-30), protesters in St Louis blocked Interstate-44 and Interstate-70 that run through the city.
The shutdown lasted from 11 pm to 3:30 am (local time).
After the shutdown ended, a semi-truck hit and killed a man on the highway.
The police said he may have been one of the protesters. Does that justify his killing?