CNN Crew Arrested While Reporting Live on Minneapolis Protests
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota State Patrol on Friday arrested a CNN television crew as they reported on violent protests in Minneapolis following the death of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man who pleaded for air as a white police officer knelt on his neck.
Atlanta-based CNN said that the crew, which included CNN reporter Omar Jimenez, was released later Friday morning.
While live on air, Jimenez was handcuffed and led away. A producer and a photojournalist for CNN were also led away in handcuffs.
CNN’s communications team earlier said on Twitter that the crew was arrested “for doing their jobs, despite identifying themselves — a clear violation of their First Amendment rights.”
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.”
In the course of clearing the streets and restoring order at Lake Street and Snelling Avenue, four people were arrested by State Patrol troopers, including three members of a CNN crew. The three were released once they were confirmed to be members of the media.
— MN State Patrol (@MnDPS_MSP) May 29, 2020
CNN’s communications team responded by stating that the crews identified themselves clearly on live television to the officers.
This is not accurate – our CNN crew identified themselves, on live television, immediately as journalists. We thank Minnesota @GovTimWalz for his swift action this morning to aid in the release of our crew. https://t.co/3cvtsqbbWz
— CNN Communications (@CNNPR) May 29, 2020
The National Association of Black Journalists condemned the arrest of Jimenez.
“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,” NABJ tweeted Friday.
Late Thursday in Minneapolis, cheering protesters torched a police station that the department abandoned as three days of violent protests spread to nearby St. Paul and angry demonstrations flared across the U.S.