US President Donald Trump said the military could deploy troops to Minneapolis "very quickly" to respond to violent protests in the aftermath of a police killing of an unarmed black man.
Crossing State lines to incite violence is a FEDERAL CRIME! Liberal Governors and Mayors must get MUCH tougher or the Federal Government will step in and do what has to be done, and that includes using the unlimited power of our Military and many arrests. Thank you!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 30, 2020
The death of George Floyd in Minneapolis sparked protests in several cities, some which have turned violent. Minnesota's governor activated the state's national guard after four nights of confrontations in Minneapolis, its first full activation since World War Two.
A US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the military had ordered some active-duty Army military police officers to be prepared to deploy if local authorities requested their help. "We could have our military there very quickly," if their help was requested, Trump said on Saturday afternoon.Trump welcomed the deployment of the National Guard, tweeting they would "do the job that the Democrat Mayor couldn't do."
"Great job by the National Guard. No games!" added Trump. One of Trump's tweets about the unrest was flagged by Twitter on Friday after he wrote, “These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts."The National Guard has been released in Minneapolis to do the job that the Democrat Mayor couldn’t do. Should have been used 2 days ago & there would not have been damage & Police Headquarters would not have been taken over & ruined. Great job by the National Guard. No games!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 31, 2020
Police were involved in two separate clashes with reporters on Friday, during separate live broadcasts, amid nationwide US protests over police brutality.Footage from Wave 3 local news in Louisville, Kentucky, appears to show police shooting pepper rounds directly at a news crew. Reporter Kaitlin Rust can be heard in the video screaming "I'm getting shot!" while fleeing the area along with her crew.
This just happened on live tv. Wow, what a douche bag. pic.twitter.com/dQKheEcCvb— Christopher Bishop (@ChrisBishopL1C4) May 30, 2020
Police in Minneapolis released a CNN reporter who was led off in handcuffs along with his film crew while reporting live on television early Friday morning during violent protests in the city. Minnesota Governor Tim Walz called on Friday for an end to the violent protests, adding that he expected "swift" justice for the officers involved.
Officers gave no explanation as they escorted reporter Omar Jimenez away. He had just shown a protester being arrested when about half a dozen police officers in gas masks surrounded him. More than an hour later, the crew was released.
"What gave me one bit of comfort was that it happened on live TV," Jimenez told viewers after he was released. "You don't have to doubt my story it's not filtered in any way; you saw it with your own eyes."
African-American CNN correspondent Omar Jimenez was the first one arrested by the officers. The channel's livestream showed the reporter telling law enforcement the crew would move to an area police find satisfying so as not to obstruct its way.
A black reporter from CNN was arrested while legally covering the protests in Minneapolis. A white reporter also on the ground was not. https://t.co/GcfwEvyYQC pic.twitter.com/Mg4ZwKIuKt— CNN (@CNN) May 29, 2020
"We can move back to where you like," he told the officers wearing gas masks and face shields, before explaining that he and his crew were members of the press. "We're getting out of your way."
The correspondent was surrounded by half a dozen officers after showing a protester being arrested by police.
Some 500 National Guard troops have been called to the area following violent riots across the city, according to CNN.
Rioters took over the neighborhood around the Minneapolis police precinct early Friday morning. Race riots have been taking place in the city since African-American citizen George Floyd was choked to death by a police officer.
Part of the Minneapolis police precinct set on fire by the protesters collapsed live on air Friday morning. The riots reportedly spread out to the Saint Louis area of the Twin Cities.
The CNN crew is reportedly in police custody and the channel's legal team is in contact with the Minneapolis Police Department in order to organize their release.
According to CNN, the crew was "arrested while giving a live television report in Minneapolis, where the crew was covering ongoing protests over the death of George Floyd. They had clearly identified themselves as press."
A CNN crew was arrested while giving a live television report in Minneapolis, where the crew was covering ongoing protests over the death of George Floyd. They had clearly identified themselves as press. https://t.co/QklqlJm7mD pic.twitter.com/0xreuTPuWS— CNN International (@cnni) May 29, 2020
"Hopefully the governor is included and we will get some resolutions," Minneapolis Council Vice President Andrea Jenkins told the channel.Minnesota Governor Tim Walz apologized for the incident, saying he takes full responsibility for the arrest of the team and that he is working on its immediate release. "We want the media there," Walz said."We just saw this live on air," Jenkins said about what she calls a racism emergency. Jenkins said there were two CNN reporters at the scene, "one black and one white, and the black gets arrested." According to her, "that's the stark display of racism."Reuters contributed to this report.
Earlier on Saturday, Trump applauded the behavior of the Secret Service at the White House, tweeting that they would "quickly come down on" protesters if they got out of line. The president warned that if anyone had come close to the fence they would "have been greeted with the most vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons, I have ever seen. That’s when people would have been really badly hurt, at least."
Trump added that there were "many Secret Service agents just waiting for action. 'We put the young ones on the front line, sir, they love it, and good practice.' As you saw last night, they were very cool & very professional. Never let it get out of hand."