A CNN journalist has been arrested while reporting from the Minneapolis riots.
Live video has emerged of the moment correspondent Omar Jimenez was led away in handcuffs while on the scene in Minneapolis.
— New Day (@NewDay) May 29, 2020
Riots erupted across the U.S. this week following the death of 46-year-old George Floyd while in police custody.
Jimenez can be heard addressing the riot-gear clad state police, offering to move to a different location.
“We can move back to where you’d like. We are live on air at the moment. There are four of us, we are one team.
“Just put us back where you want us, we were getting out of your way. Wherever you want us, we will go. We were just getting out of your way when you were advancing through the intersection. So just let us know. We got you.”
Jimenez continues his reporting as a police officer is seen holding his arm shortly before he is arrested.
The reporter then begins to ask “why am I under arrest?” before he is led away.
Astonished CNN “New Day” anchors John Berman and Alisyn Camerota can then be heard reporting back from the newsdesk.
“If you’re just tuning in, you’re watching our correspondent, Omar Jimenez, being arrested by state police in Minnesota.
“Our CNN camera crew and our producer are being arrested, right now, on live television.
“I’ve never seen anything like this.”
The cameraman is then heard saying, “we’re just doing our job, as well as you are,” before he places his camera on the ground and is led away in handcuffs.
The network said Jimenez and his production team were “arrested for doing their jobs, despite identifying themselves – a clear violation of their First Amendment rights.”
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
The broadcaster then went on to say “a black reporter from CNN was arrested while legally covering the protests in Minneapolis. A white reporter also on the ground was not.”
— CNN (@CNN) May 29, 2020
CNN reported that the crew were released shortly after, and has posted a video of Jimenez’s account of the incident:
— CNN (@CNN) May 29, 2020
In the video, Jimenez says there was confusion around what was allowed to happen at the scene.
“We had been in verbal contact with some of the police officers, saying ‘where can we be’ … as they gave commands for people to leave the area.
“We wanted to make sure we were out of the way, and we basically stepped onto the corner. The moment before the arrest actually happened, we saw at least one protestor, or at least someone who was not media, run past us. That person was cornered by state patrol, that was the main unit that seemed to be there. Then after that person was apprehended, they then turned toward us.
“That was the first moment I can say that police had got behind us … we were surrounded by state patrolmen and, it seemed like Minneapolis police officers … they’re already on edge based on the absolute destruction around them.”
As the Men Were Led Away, The Camera Continued to Roll
Camerota informs Jimenez that CNN cameras were “rolling the whole time you were taken into custody and continued to roll for the entire ride to the precinct.”
Jimenez goes on to say that the officer who arrested him, who had claimed he was “just following orders,” was “cordial, but had little information.” No explanation was offered for the arrest, nor was there an apology offered for any misunderstanding, he said.
Jimenez reported the state patrol was advancing up the street toward the crew’s location. “Where we were standing, to my right was where all the protestors were, in front of the building that was on fire. To the left was where they were advancing. We were going to step back and let them advance down the street, but you saw what unfolded there.
“The main thing that gave me a little bit of comfort, was that it happened on live TV. You can have people speak up for you without you saying anything.
“I was living what was happening, and the country was seeing what was happening, right before their eyes.”
Praising Jimenez’s professionalism. Anchor Alisyn Camerota said watching the events unfold was “nerve-wracking.”
“[U.S. Attorney] Bakari Sellers just described watching it, saying it was emotional … because he was scared for you, when you were being taken into custody.
“Josh Campbell, reporting a block or two away from you, was not taken into custody. He was treated quite politely.”
@TeamTrump, the Twitter account for the Trump campaign, called Jimenez’s arrest “outrageous.”
Mayor Frey & Gov Walz have completely lost control in Minneapolis in a catastrophic display of failed leadership.
The city is on fire & they outrageously arrested a CNN crew.@realDonaldTrump called in DOJ to investigate George Floyd’s death.
Clear-eyed justice must be served! https://t.co/QvA6zvYGuu
— Team Trump (Text TRUMP to 88022) (@TeamTrump) May 29, 2020