A wild scene unfolded live on CNN early Friday morning while reporter Omar Jimenez was covering the protests in Minneapolis, Minnesota which have followed the death of George Floyd, who died after being pinned down by a police officer who had his knee pressed onto Floyd’s neck.
As Jimenez was providing an update near the fiery scene, police officers approached him from behind and arrested him live on camera as New Day anchors John Berman and Alisyn Camerota watched in shock.
It was a bizarre moment, considering Jimenez and his crew identified themselves and Jimenez’s credentials were clearly visible.
“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,” CNN said in a statement.
Here is the moment Jimenez was arrested:
— CNN (@CNN) May 29, 2020
The CNN crew was released one-hour later.
Jimenez said he and his crew had been in contact with the police, but there seemed to be some miscommunication about where they were supposed to position themselves.
Minnesota State Patrol released a statement regarding the incident.
“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 statement read. “The three were released once they were confirmed to be members of the media.”
Late Thursday night, a police department precinct had been set on fire after officers abandoned it overnight. Other fires throughout the city have also broken out which led to the National Guard reporting to the scene to provide assistance.
Let’s hope order is soon restored in Minneapolis before more damage is done and the situation gets even worse.