A CNN reporter has been arrested live on television in Minneapolis while reporting on widespread looting and riots throughout the city.
Reporter Omar Jimenez was live on air speaking about the situation when police in riot gear arrested Mr Jimenez, placing him in handcuffs.
The police then led him to a waiting patrol car.
The reason for his arrest is unclear. Prior to the arrest police could be overheard asking Mr Jimenez and his television crew to step backwards.
Jimenez could be seen holding his CNN badge while reporting, identifying himself as a reporter, and telling the officers the crew would move wherever officers needed them to.
An officer gripped his arm as Jimenez talked, then put him in handcuffs.
“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 — wherever you want us (we’ll) get out of your way,” Jimenez said before he was led away.
“We were just getting out of your way when you were advancing through the intersection,” Jimenez said.
Jimenez and the crew had been reporting from the site — near a city police department precinct that protesters had burned and officers had abandoned overnight.
About a block away, a fire was burning at a different, four-story building that had contained restaurants.
Over 100 state police officers in body armor and riot gear had arrived and lined up near the area where the CNN crew was, near the precinct building on East Lake Street.
After the photographer was arrested, his camera was set on the ground and continued to transmit live images.
A spokesperson for CNN demanded that the three employees of the network be released immediately.
“A CNN reporter and his production team were arrested this morning in Minneapolis for doing their jobs, despite identifying themselves – a clear violation of their First Amendment rights,” CNN said in a statement.
“The authorities in Minnesota, including the Governor, must release the 3 CNN employees immediately.”
The Governor of Minnesota has apologised to CNN and said the crew and reporter will be released.
RIOTS EXPLODE AFTER GEORGE FLOYD DEATH
The arrest comes after days of looting following the death of George Floyd.
The 46-year-old was handcuffed and unarmed.
Protests continue to escalate
A state of emergency was earlier called as the city of Minneapolis boils over into total mayhem and more rioting over the death of Mr Floyd.
One man appeared to be stabbed, with his alleged attacker arrested by heavily protected police and the victim rushed away for treatment.
As the chaos unfolded, Minnesota prosecutor Michael Freeman told reporters while the video showing Mr Floyd’s death was “terrible”, there was other evidence that “does not support a criminal charge”.
He later withdrew that statement and said he misspoke about “other evidence”.
US President responds to Minneapolis riots
Livestream video showed the protesters entering the building, where fire alarms blared and sprinklers ran as blazes were set.
Nine News US correspondent Tim Arvier shot video of a group of men attempting to break into a Minneapolis bank during the mayhem.
Arvier says everywhere he and the camera crew drove, they passed flaming wrecks of burnt-out cars and shells of buildings that have burnt to the ground.
In Columbus, Ohio a crowd of at least 300 outraged people were hit with pepper spary after refusing to move on from blocking the street.
No arrests have been confirmed in Ohio, however there are reports protestors have used smoke bombs against police and at least one officer was allegedly punched during the violence.
As riots raged, President Donald Trump called the protesters “thugs” and insinuated that looters would be shot in a series of tweets.
In the tweets, President Trump threatened to bring in the National Guard to “get the job done right”.
“When the looting starts, the shooting starts,” he said.
The tweets have since been hidden by Twitter with a notice that they incite violence and go against Twitter’s rules about violence.