CNN correspondent Omar Jimenez and his camera crew were arrested live on television while reporting from the Minneapolis protests for CNN’s “New Day” Friday morning.
In the incident, which took place shortly after 6 a.m. ET, a co-operative Jimenez explains how they were going to move wherever riot police wanted them to go. However, things then take a bizarre turn as he is arrested and led away.
— CNN (@CNN) May 29, 2020
Let’s name all of them: CNN Correspondent Omar Jimenez, CNN Producer Bill Kirkos and CNN Photojournalist Leonel Mendez — ARRESTED by Minnesota State Police for lawfully doing their jobs. #CNN
— Brooke Baldwin (@BrookeBCNN) May 29, 2020
Anchor John Berman could be heard saying off-screen, “That is an American television reporter being led away by police officers. He clearly identified himself as a reporter and was respectfully explaining to the police that the CNN team was there and moving away as they would request, and then for some reason he was taken into police custody live on television.”
“I have never seen anything like this,” Berman added.
CNN has since released a statement on Twitter:
A CNN reporter & his production team were arrested this morning in Minneapolis for doing their jobs, despite identifying themselves – a clear violation of their First Amendment rights. The authorities in Minnesota, incl. the Governor, must release the 3 CNN employees immediately.
— CNN Communications (@CNNPR) May 29, 2020
Piers Morgan, Jillian Barberie, and many more slammed Minnesota police on social media.
Outrageous. This is America? https://t.co/zk9GwEuW3A
— Jillian Barberie (@askjillian) May 29, 2020
What the hell is going on here? Outrageous abuse of power by the police. 👇 https://t.co/tDhiOd4FZi
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) May 29, 2020
This is unbelievable. Minneapolis police just arrested black CNN reporter Omar Jimenez live on air even after he identified himself. I’ve never seen anything like this.#GeorgeFloyd #MinneapolisRiot #omarjimenez pic.twitter.com/gSx1Kuxznm
— Asjad Nazir (@asjadnazir) May 29, 2020
It was later reported that CNN president Jeff Zucker had spoken with Tim Walz, the governor of Minnesota, who said he “deeply apologizes” for what happened.
After a call with CNN President Jeff Zucker, Gov. Tim Walz just apologized for CNN reporter Omar Jimenez and crew being arrested by Minneapolis State Police live on-air, saying it was unacceptable.
Great, @GovTimWalz! Will there be consequences for the arresting officers?
— Charlotte Clymer 🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) May 29, 2020
Jimenez and the crew have since been released, with the CNN anchor giving an interview about what happened.
“The moment before the arrest happened we saw one protester, or at least someone that was not media, run past us and that person was cornered by the state patrol.
“After that person was apprehended they then turned toward us. That was the first moment that people had gotten behind us, so in a sense we were surrounded.
“Everyone was pretty cordial after [our arrest] happened,” adding the officer said he was “just following orders.”
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) May 29, 2020
Following the arrest, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz apologized to the CNN reporter and his colleagues.
“This is a very public apology to that team,” Walz said at a news conference just hours after Jimenez and his two coworkers were taken into custody. They have since been released.
Protests have been raging in Minneapolis since a black man, George Floyd, died in police custody after a cop appeared to kneel on his neck Monday.