Minnesota State Patrol officers arrested CNN correspondent Omar Jimenez and two members of his crew while they were broadcasting live from protests in Minneapolis on Friday morning’s “New Day.”
Jimenez, who was covering the demonstrations over the death of George Floyd, was placed in handcuffs and taken away just after 5 a.m. local time after politely telling officers the crew would go wherever they wanted them. A producer and a camera operator were also detained.
The camera continued rolling and broadcasting the whole time, even as it was taken away from the crew.
The crew was released around two hours later.
Check out the footage here:
Police initially told CNN that the journalists had been arrested “for not following orders to clear the street.”
Jimenez’s colleague Josh Campbell, who was elsewhere in the city covering the protests, was not arrested.
Campbell told “New Day” that his experience had been “the opposite of what Omar just experienced.” It “crossed my mind” it could have been because he is white and Jimenez is Black, Campbell said.
Check out the interview here:
CNN had called for the release of its employees in a statement shared 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,” it read. “The authorities in Minnesota, incl. the Governor, must release the 3 CNN employees immediately.”
John Berman, the co-host of “New Day,” reported that CNN President Jeff Zucker had spoken to Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, a Democrat, and said the governor had apologized.
Walz took “full responsibility” for the incident, Berman reported.
Upon his release, Jimenez suggested there’d been “a little bit of confusion” from police about where the crew was allowed to be, with everyone “on edge” because of the destruction that has been caused to the city.
The arresting officers were “pretty cordial,” said Jimenez. They talked about “how crazy” the week had been, he said, and he asked for guidance on where the crew should be while reporting on future demonstrations.
What gave him “a little bit of comfort,” was “knowing that you guys saw what was happening,” he added.“I was living what was happening and the country was seeing what was happening unfold in real-time before their eyes.”
Check out Jimenez’s comments here:
Minnesota State Patrol later posted on Twitter that the CNN crew was released “once they were confirmed to be members of the media.” That claim drew scorn from other tweeters, who noted Jimenez had already shown the state troopers his credentials.
CNN also refuted the police claim.
“This is not accurate ― our CNN crew identified themselves, on live television, immediately as journalists,” the network said in a statement on Twitter:
Floyd, a Black man, died in Minneapolis on Monday after a police officer knelt on his neck, sparking protests that have now spread nationwide. Four officers have been fired, but no criminal charges have been filed.
Demonstrators in Minneapolis have clashed with police officers and torched buildings.
Viewers and Jimenez’s colleagues expressed shock at the scene: