MINNEAPOLIS — A CNN news crew was arrested by state police during a live broadcast Friday morning while covering the uprising in the city.
CNN reported that their correspondent Omar Jimenez, producer Bill Kirkos and photojournalist Leonel Mendez were released an hour later. Jimenez is Hispanic and black and Mendez is Hispanic.
In a tweet, the Minnesota State Patrol 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.”
The video that was being broadcast live directly contradicts that statement.
Jimenez is seen and heard telling the police officers that they were trying to stay out of the way and would move where ever they needed to, while also saying they broadcasting live and saving their CNN press badges. Jimenez asked why they were being arrested, but no answer could be heard on the video.
Anchors for CNN’s New Day, who had been taking with Jimenez during the live broadcast, expressed disbelief at what they were seeing, saying they had never seen anything like this by U.S. police.
On their own Twitter account, CNN’s public relations office said, “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.”
They were released an hour later and the Minnesota governor did apologize. Which did not calm down reactions:
@CNN Omar was taken because he was brown skinned. They only came back & got camera crew after the fact. Initially, they handed them the microphone and left. Someone said you can’t just take the Black one – do they went back and arrested the others. Live television. Wow!— FueledByChrist (@jh819FBC) May 29, 2020
Its either because he is black or he said CNN, either way its unjustifiable what just happened pic.twitter.com/AgdgxgXU5v— Navpreet Dhadwal (@Nav_Dhadwal) May 29, 2020
They arrested Omar, a man of color, fully cooperating and showing his PRESS CREDENTIALS.— IaOrana (@TahitiPlumeria) May 29, 2020
They came back after a couple of minutes to get the rest of the crew.
This is UNBELIEVABLE.
Is this Trump & Barr's version of justice?
Time to take the protest to Penn. Ave.
Well its pretty clear why the citizens of Minnesota are pissed.— Gustavo Barrantes (@Gustavocantcook) May 29, 2020
CNN’s law enforcement analyst Charles Ramsey was shocked as well.
“The state police are going to have a lot to answer for with this arrest here,” he told the outlet. “He’s standing there, he identified himself. You can see his credentials. Just move him to where you want him to be.”
Ramsey added that the there was “no way something like that should occur.”