Minnesota state police on Friday arrested CNN reporter Omar Jimenez and his camera crew during a live report on the network’s morning program “New Day.”
“You’re under arrest,” one officer said in the middle of the report on the protests that have erupted in Minneapolis.
“OK, do you mind telling me why I’m under arrest? Why am I under arrest, sir?” Jimenez can be heard saying
“You’re arresting him live on CNN. We told you before we’re with CNN,” one member of the CNN crew could be heard saying off-camera while the footage of the arrest rolled.
“Police said they were arrested because they were told to move and didn’t,” according to CNN.com
“That is an American television reporter Omar Jimenez being led away by police officers. He clearly identified himself as a reporter,” explained “New Day” anchor John Berman while showing the video. “He was respectfully explaining to the state police that our CNN team was there and was moving away as they would request,” explained “New Day” anchor John Berman. “And for some reason, he was just taken into police custody live on television.”
The anchors went on to note that Jimenez identifies as black and Hispanic. They pointed to the fact that they had another crew in the area that is still working and is white.
CNN Communications released a statement on Twitter shortly following the arrest urging that its employees be released “immediately.”
“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,” reads the statement.
Berman later reported after the arrest that Gov. Tim Walz (D-Minn.) apologized to CNN president Jeff Zucker while promising to release Jimenez and his crew.
Minnesota State Patrol tweeted that three members of the CNN crew were arrested while “clearing streets and restoring order.”
CNN responding to the tweet saying that was not a fair description of what happened and thanking the governor for “his swift action.”
Jimenez was released about an hour after the arrest and returned to the air to provide his account on what happened in a diplomatic manner.
“There seemed to be a little bit of confusion around what was allowed to happen,” Jimenez explained regarding police clearing out the area of protesters. “The moment before the arrest actually happened, we saw one protestor, or at least someone was not media, run past us … and after that person was apprehended, [police] turned toward us.”
“As far as the people leading me away, there was no animosity there. They weren’t violent with me. We were have a conversation about how crazy this week has been for every single part of the city. As I mentioned, a lot of people are already on edge.”