[WATCH] Black CNN Reporter Handcuffed Live In Front Of World
CNN reporter Omar Jimenez and his crew were arrested while delivering a live broadcast during the Minneapolis riots on Friday. Minneapolis has been raging with rioting and looting since the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer. The arrest occurred just after 5 a.m. Jimenez identified himself and his crew to police and told police that they would leave the area and go where the police wanted them to go.
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In the video, the police officer can be seen tightening a grip around the reporter’s arm as they talk. Jimenez can be heard saying, “We can move back to where you like. We are live on the air here. … Put us back where you want us. We are getting out of your way — wherever you want us (we’ll) get out of your way. ” He added, “We were just getting out of your way when you were advancing through the intersection.” Despite his explanation, Jimenez is placed under arrest and escorted away. The incident occurred not far from where a police station was set on fire as tensions continue to rise.
Gov. Tim Waltz of Minnesota said he was sorry about the incident to President of CNN Worldwide, Jeff Zucker. Gov. Waltz promised to do all he could to get the CNN crew released. Jimenez and his crew were released a little after 6 a.m. from the public safety building downtown. Jimenez said in a live statement after being released, “We’re doing OK, now. There were a few uneasy moments there.”
The Minnesota State Patrol also made a statement about the incident. They said, “In the course of clearing the streets and restoring order at Lake Street and Snelling Avenue, four people were arrested by State Patrol troopers, including three members of a CNN crew. The three were released once they were confirmed to be members of the media.”
CNN has a different view of events in a statement released on Twitter. It reads, “This is not accurate – our CNN crew identified themselves, on live television, immediately as journalists. We thank Minnesota @GovTimWalz for his swift action this morning to aid in the release of our crew.”
Another thing that makes Jimenez’s arrest suspicious for many is that a white CNN reporter was not arrested. Josh Campell was also in the same area and he was not standing with a crew despite this he says he was not arrested. He said, “I identified myself … they said, ‘OK, you’re permitted to be in the area,'” recounted Campbell, who is white. “I was treated much differently than (Jimenez) was.”
Many see the arrest as racially motivated and against the first amendment. CNN said, “A CNN reporter and 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, including the Governor, must release the three CNN employees immediately.”
Who knows what will happen next as demonstrations continue.