cnn omar jimenez

CNN/YouTube

Video shows Black CNN reporter covering Minneapolis protest arrested

A white reporter on site was not arrested.

May 29, 2020, 10:03 am*

IRL

Siobhan Ball 

Siobhan Ball

CNN correspondent Omar Jimenez was arrested by Minneapolis police live on air during his coverage of the riots.

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Jimenez identified himself as a member of the press and was peacefully cooperating with the police when they arrested him.

Moments after, the police officers went on to arrest his entire camera crew, none of whom were given an explanation as to why they were being taken into custody.

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The entire event was captured live, as studio reporters expressed their shock that a member of the press was being arrested as he lawfully exercised his First Amendment rights.

Police then informed another CNN reporter that Jimenez and his crew were arrested for refusing to move when asked. However, the live footage showed that far from refusing to move, they were simply asking police circling them where they wanted them to go.

Meanwhile Josh Campbell, another CNN correspondent, had a very different encounter with the police.

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After approaching him and seeing his press credentials, Campbell was told he was “permitted to be in the area.” A key difference between the two reporters is that Campbell is white while Jimenez is Black and Latino, facts Campbell and the studio staff were quick to bring to the public’s attention.

CNN political commentator Bakari Sellars pointed out that Jimenez’s arrest is reality for Black Americans, that being arrested while going about your business is a daily concern.

CNN called on Gov. Tim Waltz (D) to intervene and Waltz responded with an apology, claiming it was both “totally unacceptable and totally inadvertent.” Waltz did go on to apologize, take full responsibility, and affirm the right of the news crew to be there, reporting on events.

The police later released a statement claiming that the crew was released when they were confirmed to be media members, despite Jimenez and his team’s clear identification before he was arrested.

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Jimenez and his team have since been released from custody and are back reporting on the ground.

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*First Published: May 29, 2020, 9:56 am