CNN crew arrested on live TV amid George Floyd protests in Minneapolisby Amanda Woods
A CNN crew was arrested on live TV as they covered protests in Minneapolis over the death of George Floyd.
Correspondent Omar Jimenez, and the crew with him, were handcuffed and detained by Minnesota State Police just after 5 a.m. local time, according to the network.
The crew was informed they were being detained because they were told to move and did not, one member said.
Officers in body armor and riot gear moved toward the crew after they first arrested a protester behind them, the live feed shows.
Jimenez identified himself as a CNN reporter, and told the officers the crew would move to wherever they were told.
“This is the scene here playing out in Minneapolis,” Jimenez says on air as one officer holds his arm. “This is part of the advanced police presence we’ve seen here in really minutes, when we saw that the local police showed up with the fire department at the building we showed you which was burning.”
“This is part of the state patrol unit that was advancing up the street, scattering the protests at that point for people to leave the area,” he said. “So we walked away, cleared the area.”
At that point, a second officer told him he was under arrest, and the pair handcuffed him.
They did not respond to his questions about why he was being arrested.
Jimenez, along with producer Bill Kirkos and photojournalist Leonel Mendez, had been reporting near the Minneapolis Police Department’s 3rd Precinct, which was set on fire amid the protests.
In a statement posted to Twitter, CNN demanded that the crew be released.
“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 statement said. “The authorities in Minnesota, incl. the Governor, must release the 3 CNN employees immediately.”
CNN president Jeff Zucker spoke with Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, who said he “deeply apologizes,” called the arrests “unacceptable,” as the team has the right to be there, and said he is working to have the crew released immediately.
The team was released from the Hennepin County Public Safety facility in downtown Minneapolis by around 6:30 a.m. local time.