Kevin Hart and Kathy Burke lead support for reporter Omar Jimenez after arrestby Louise Griffin
Kevin Hart and Kathy Burke are some of the stars sharing support for Omar Jimnez after he was arrested live on air.
Jimnez, a black CNN reporter, was covering the riots following the death of George Floyd, a black unarmed and handcuffed man who was killed by police, with footage showing an officer kneeling on his neck.
Footage from Jimnez’s arrest shows him being handcuffed by two officers as he reports live from the scene. Two members of the production team were also detained.
Jimenez could be seen holding his CNN badge while reporting, identifying himself as a reporter and telling the officers the crew would move wherever they needed them to.
CNN’s Josh Campell, who was in the area but not standing with the on-air crew, said he was also approached by police but was allowed to remain where he was.
Campell, who is white, said: ‘I identified myself … they said, “OK, you’re permitted to be in the area.” I was treated much differently than (Jimenez) was.’
Jimenez has since been released from custody – and has posted a photo of himself continuing to cover the riots, simply captioning it: ‘And we’re back.’
The public has been left outraged by the arrest, with celebrities speaking out for the reporter.
Kevin Hart asked on Twitter how a reporter can be arrested, but not the officer involved in Floyd’s killing.
He added: ‘HOW IS THIS EVEN F***ING POSSIBLE???? His ass should be In JAIL NOOOOOOW. This is f***ing ridiculous.’
Dustin Lance Black added: ‘This undeniably unconstitutional, blatantly racist arrest (a white CNN reporter was untouched paces away) is Trump’s vision for our America. If your blood boils when you watch this, rise up in protest, and #VOTE.’
Kathy Burke told the reporter: ‘You’re amazing.’
Meanwhile, Strictly’s Bruno Tonioli said: ‘The heavy-handed approach never ends well… Well done @OmarJimenez for standing up…’
Footage from Jimenez’s arrest showed the reporter saying: ‘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.
‘We were just getting out of your way when you were advancing through the intersection’.
An officer gripped his arm as Jimenez talked, then put him in handcuffs. They ignored him as he asked ‘why am I under arrest sir?’. 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 statement from the channel said: ‘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’.
Jimenez and his crew were filming near a Minneapolis police department precinct that protesters had burned and officers had abandoned overnight when they were arrested at around 5am local time.
The state’s Governor Tim Walz said the arrest was ‘totally unacceptable’ and that he accepts full responsibility for what happened. He said the crew clearly had the right to be there and he wanted the media to cover the protests.
Metro.co.uk has contacted Minneapolis Police Department for comment.
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