Black CNN security officer jailed amid unrest after George Floyd’s death withdraws trial


A CNN security officer withdrew his lawsuit alleging the Minnesota State Patrol had targeted him for being black and illegally arrested him during civil unrest in Minneapolis shortly after the death of George Floyd .

Michael J. Cooper was held in the Hennepin County Jail for nearly 8 hours on May 30, 2020, on allegations of violating an emergency curfew – which specifically exempted members of the media – and possession illegal firearm.

No charges have ever been laid, according to the prosecution, which claimed at least $ 500,000 in damages. He was represented in the lawsuit by the legal team representing the family of George Floyd.

“We have taken the procedural step of dismissing the action without prejudice,” Cooper’s attorney Jeff Storms said Tuesday.

Storms declined to comment on why the action was taken, explaining, “I cannot discuss any other strategic decisions at this time.”

A spokesperson for the state patrol has yet to respond to a request for comment on the dismissal.

Cooper, a retired law enforcement officer, was a certified member of the media at the time and, while owning two firearms, he also had with him a license allowing him to carry a firearm n ‘Anywhere in the United States, according to the lawsuit.

He sued in the United States District Court, alleging that his arrest was a violation of free speech under the United States Constitution and illegal detention amendments. The lawsuit specifically mentions Private Patrick Kelly and the “Captain Jane Doe” patrol as defendants, whose identity has yet to be verified by Cooper or his attorneys.

Mr. Cooper was on the same CNN broadcast team as Omar Jimenez, a black Latino journalist, who was also illegally arrested [one day earlier in Minneapolis]while covering the historical protests surrounding Mr. Floyd’s murder, ”the trial reads, adding that Cooper was given the assignment in response to the journalist’s arrest a day earlier. “The selective arrest of members of the black media was no coincidence. It was intentional and racially motivated. “

A CNN producer with Jimenez was also arrested in this separate arrest. Jimenez was handcuffed by state soldiers on live television along with other members of his team around 5 a.m. and taken from the scene by two soldiers in riot gear after saying he worked for CNN. They were all released shortly after Governor Tim Walz intervened. Both were subsequently released without charge.

Kelly claimed in his incident reports that he searched Cooper and found no media credentials. Once aware that Cooper was armed, Kelly explained that the arrest was made “since we had no way of proving the man was employed by CNN (no credentials), the law enforcement officers on active duty or a concealment permit, “the second reading of two soldier’s reports.


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