Reporter Omar Jimenez repeatedly told officers the crew would move from their spots and comply with their request. The officers arrested Jimenez and the crew anyway.
Minneapolis police arrested a CNN crew, including reporter Omar Jimenez, who is black and Latino, early this morning.
CNN’s Josh Campbell said he was also confronted by the police, but after he identified himself, the cops let him stay.
The crew was covering the third day of protests in the city after a cop allegedly murdered George Floyd.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz told CNN Worldwide 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.
“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,” CNN said in a statement.
The officers moved in to arrest a protester. They asked the crew to move and Jimenez identified himself.
Despite saying he would move the officer arrested the crew:
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.
This is not a good look for the police mainly because they allowed Campbell, who is white, to remain in his place:
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, but was allowed to remain.
“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.”
Jimenez is black and Latino.
Former Philadelphia police commissioner Charles Ramsey, a CNN law enforcement analyst, said the arrest made no sense.
“State police are going to have a lot to answer for this arrest here,” Ramsey said. “(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.”
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