April 29, 2015 12:38 pm

Twitter users decry alleged ‘kidnapping’ of activist by Baltimore police


WATCH: During a live CNN broadcast Tuesday night in Baltimore, 21-year-old community organizer Joseph Kent was arrested live on the air. CREDIT: CNN

Thousands of Twitter users asked “Where is Joseph Kent” overnight Tuesday after the arrest of a well-known community organizer in Baltimore was captured live by television news cameras.

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Kent is seen in the CNN footage that has since gone viral pacing back and forth in front of a strong line of police officers in riot gear Tuesday roughly 40 minutes after the 10 p.m. curfew began.

Wearing a black hooded sweatshirt with his hands up in the air, Kent can be heard yelling “everyone has to disperse, everyone has to leave.”

Seconds later, a military-style Humvee rolls up between Kent and the television news crews as several police officers, armed with riot shields and batons, swarm Kent.

READ MORE: What we know about Freddie Gray and the Baltimore riots

CNN reporter Chris Cuomo was with the cameraperson who filmed the arrest and said shortly after that police used the Humvee as a “wedge” while detaining Kent.

“They drove the vehicle up and when it got close enough to create a wedge, they ran out and grabbed him, pinned him against that and then arrested him,” Cuomo said.

Cuomo went on to say when Kent had originally approached the line of riot officers, he was shot with pepper bullets but then came back and was allowed to pace before being arrested.

Kent was also a prominent figure in the Ferguson protests following the shooting death of Michael Brown.

Social media outrage began almost immediately following the arrest with people accusing the police of “kidnapping” or “disappearing” Kent.

READ MORE: How to talk to your kids about the rioting in Baltimore

Globalnews.ca was unable to reach Baltimore police for comment.  But Steve Beatty, a Baltimore-area attorney, tweeted Wednesday that Kent was arrested and, at the time of his tweeting, was awaiting processing.

Globalnews.ca has reached out to Joseph Kent but has not received a response.

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