CNN Reporter Arrested Live On TV By Minnesota State Police
Public outcry regarding the viral death of Minneapolis man George Floyd directly affected the media yesterday. (5/28/20) Viewers were shocked to witness the arrest of Black CNN reporter Omar Jimenez in real time. CNN’s coverage was centered on the violent, fiery riots in the Minneapolis area in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death. According to his colleagues, Omar Jimenez and crew were personally led down the street by Minnesota State Patrol and placed in an area approved for taping. Omar Jiminez could be heard on camera at one point, telling the police:
“Put us back to where you want us – wherever you’d want us we’ll go. Just let us know.”
He was then placed in handcuffs. Omar Jimenez said:
“Do you mind telling me why I am under arrest sir? Why am I under arrest sir?”
CNN President Jeff Zucker and Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz intervened, securing their release. Minnesota State Police later took to Twitter claiming that Omar and crew were arrested to privately confirm they were members of the media. CNN says this isn’t the truth.
In fact, Josh Campbell – a white CNN crew member – said he wasn’t handled as harshly:
“I identified myself…they said, ‘OK, you’re permitted to be in the area. I was treated much differently than (Jimenez) was.”
Jimenez later returned to the air and gave his own account of the arrest:
“Everyone was pretty cordial. I said to the officer who arrested me, ‘Look, we’re going to be here for the next few days. Where do you want us to be?’ And he said, ‘I don’t know, I’m just following orders.’ There was no animosity. No one was violent with me. That conversation may have happened above some of the people we were with. For us, they came back and said, ‘You’re with CNN, correct?’ They let us out of the van, we were handcuffed in the van, then they came back with our belongings. They unclipped our handcuffed. That is when we were let out.”
“It didn’t make any sense to me,” law enforcement analyst Charles Ramsey says about the arrest of a CNN team in Minneapolis who had clearly identified themselves as press. “…There’s no way something like that should occur.” https://t.co/caz6vZT4af pic.twitter.com/XCXsqU74iX
— CNN (@CNN) May 29, 2020
“There was no sort of, ‘Sorry, this was a misunderstanding.’ It seemed like this conversation might have happened but it didn’t happen with us. The arrest happened, I was trying to communicate with you all. I couldn’t really understand what was going on but as we were walking away…it did cross my mind that what is really happening here? The one thing that gave me a little bit of comfort was that it happened on live TV. Let’s just say what happened with George Floyd… what’s happening isn’t new. It’s on camera.”
What do you think about the current Minneapolis riots? Let us know in the comments.