A CNN crew was just arrested by Minnesota state police Friday morning while giving a live television report in Minneapolis.
The crew was covering ongoing protests over the death of George Floyd— an arrest that has drawn an apology from the state’s governor.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz told CNN President Jeff Zucker that he deeply apologizes for what happened, and that he is working to have the CNN crew released immediately.
The crew, including correspondent Omar Jimenez, were handcuffed and detained as Jimenez gave a live report on a Minneapolis street shortly after 5 a.m. CT (6 a.m. ET).
Police told the crew they were being detained because they were told to move, and didn’t, one member of the CNN crew relayed to the network.
CNN said in a statement,
“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,.”
According to CNN,
Officers approached the crew –– which also included producer Bill Kirkos and photojournalist Leonel Mendez — as they moved in to arrest a protester behind them. Jimenez could be seen holding his CNN badge while reporting, identifying himself as a reporter, and telling the officers the crew would move wherever officers needed them to. An officer gripped his arm as Jimenez talked, then put him in handcuffs.
“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,” Jimenez said before he was led away.”
We were just getting out of your way when you were advancing through the intersection,” Jimenez said.
After the CNN photographer was arrested, his camera was set on the ground and continued to transmit live images.
CNN’s Josh Campell, who also was in the area but not standing with the on-air crew, said he, too, was approached by police. He was allowed to remain recounted Campbell, who is white,
“I identified myself … they said, ‘OK, you’re permitted to be in the area.
I was treated much differently than (Jimenez) was.”
Jimenez is black and Latino. Former Philadelphia police commissioner Charles Ramsey, a CNN law enforcement analyst, said the arrest made no sense. Ramsey said,
“State police are going to have a lot to answer for this arrest here.
(Jimenez is) standing there … you can see his credential. Just move him where you want to be. They should have a designated (media) area, and just tell them to move to that area.”