By: Norman Dotson Jr./ BNC Digital Media Producer
Minneapolis (BNC) — A CNN news crew, including black and latino reporter Omar Jimenez, were arrested during their live reporting of the Minneapolis protest following the death of George Floyd late last night.
While live on air, Jimenez along with producer Bill Kirkos and photojournalist Leonel Mendez were led away from the scene in handcuffs after a brief interaction with Minnesota State Patrol officers.
The Minnesota State Patrol said on Twitter that the journalists were among four people arrested as troopers were “clearing the streets and restoring order.” The patrol said they “were released once they were confirmed to be members of the media.”
However the live video, which has now gone viral, shows Jimenez identifying himself and saying to the mob of officers approaching them “we can move back to where you like… We are getting out of your way… Wherever you want us, we will go” so that the crew would not interfere with them clearing the streets.
Jimenez was also wearing his CNN press badge in clear sight.
CNN Worldwide president reached Minnesota governor Tim Walz, who apologized for the infringement and took responsibility. The crew was released about one hour after they were detained.
First Amendment advocates and media organizations have spoken out in support Jimenez and his team.
The National Association of Black Journalists condemned the arrest of Jimenez tweeting they are relieved about his release this morning yet disturbed that it happened in the first place.
We are relieved to see Omar has been released, but we are still disturbed by the apparent violation of First Amendment rights that are the bedrock of journalism. @Dorothy4NABJ pic.twitter.com/CpJptpLNOE
— NABJ Headquarters (@NABJ) May 29, 2020
Jimenez has been released and is back on the ground reporting from the protests that are still going on, today CNN will be holding a press conference in reference to the arrest of their crew.
And we’re back pic.twitter.com/dkYHYxe0u7
— Omar Jimenez (@OmarJimenez) May 29, 2020