An MSNBC journalist attempted to explain that the violence that erupted in Minneapolis on Thursday night was “mostly a protest” despite a building burning right behind him.
Ali Velshi was reporting live from the Twin Cities amid the uproar following the death of 46-year-old George Floyd. Velshi attempted to explain that what he was witnessing was “calmer” than the night prior.
“For most of the day, today, it looked a lot calmer than yesterday looked,” Velshi began after showing his colleague Brian Williams some of the destruction that took place. “And that’s what happened yesterday. It picked up later in the evening. The crowds gathered here and the standoff with the police looked very different last night.”
Velshi then acknowledged that he could see “four fires” within his vicinity, including a liquor store that was burning behind him as well as the 3rd Precinct police department, which was earlier evacuated before the crowd set it on fire.
“I want to be clear on how I characterize this. This is mostly a protest. It is not, generally speaking, unruly but fires have been started and this crowd is relishing that,” Velshi told Williams. “There is a deep sense of grievance and complaint here, and that is the thing. That when you discount people who are doing things to public property that they shouldn’t be doing, it does have to be understood that this city has got, for the last several years, an issue with police, and it’s got a real sense of the deep sense of grievance of inequality.”
Craig Melvin, an MSNBC host and co-anchor of “Today,” shed some light as to how his network is framing its reporting.
“This will guide our reporting in MN. ‘While the situation on the ground in Minneapolis is fluid, and there has been violence, it is most accurate at this time to describe what is happening there as ‘protests’ — not riots,'” Melvin tweeted Thursday morning.
NBC News did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
The protests in the Twin Cities were sparked by the death of 46-year-old George Floyd, a black man who died Monday after a white police officer kneeled on his neck for several minutes as he was being arrested over alleged forgery.
Video footage that went viral from the arrest showed Floyd telling the police officer “I can’t breathe” as passersby begged the officers to get off him. Moments later, his lifeless body was laying on the ground.
The four police officers involved with the arrest have been fired from the Minneapolis Police Department. Criminal charges have yet to be made but a federal investigation is underway.