KanyiDaily had reported how George Floyd died during arrest on Monday, after a white police officer pinned him to the ground by pressing his knee into Floyd’s neck as the black man repeatedly said, “I can’t breathe.”
Jimenez and his crew – producer Bill Kirkos and photojournalist Leo0nel Mendez – were arrested in handcuffs on Friday morning while covering the protest that erupted in the Minnesota city after Floyd’s killing.
The CNN reporter was taken into police custody during a live broadcast at the site of the protests in Minneapolis, after clearly identifying himself to officers.
The CNN camera was also taken into custody and continued to record as the crew was handcuffed, with police seemingly unaware that the camera was still on.
Police said the crew was arrested for failing to move to a different area, but the crew is heard, while the camera is rolling, asking police where they should be standing and offering to move to “wherever you want us.”
Jimenez told the officers he and his three colleagues were part of the same CNN crew and calmly identified himself with his CNN identification card.
Before their arrest, Jimenez was then heard as telling the officers:
“We can move back to where you’d like. We can move back to where you’d like here. We are live on the air at the moment. This is the four of us. We are one team. Just put us back where you want us. We’re getting out of your way. So, just let us know. Wherever you’d want us, we will go.
“We were just getting out of your way when you were advancing through the intersection. Let us know and we’ve got you,” Jimenez said before being told he was under arrest and handcuffed by two officers. “Why am I under arrest, sir?”
— CNN (@CNN) May 29, 2020
CNN released a statement following the arrests: “A CNN reporter & 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, incl. the Governor, must release the 3 CNN employees immediately.”
A CNN reporter & 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, incl. the Governor, must release the 3 CNN employees immediately.
— CNN Communications (@CNNPR) May 29, 2020
Live now on CNN as reported by @JohnBerman: CNN president Jeff Zucker spoke to Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz who apologized for State Police’s arrest of @OmarJimenez and our team. He is working to get them released. Walz said he takes full responsibility for what happened.
— Abby D. Phillip (@abbydphillip) May 29, 2020
Jimenez and the crew were later released, and he told viewers that he believed his crew had been targeted after a protester had run past and been detained.
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) May 29, 2020
The CNN reporter went back on the air and tweeted shortly afterwards, in familiar TV news parlance: “And we’re back.”
And we’re back pic.twitter.com/dkYHYxe0u7
— Omar Jimenez (@OmarJimenez) May 29, 2020
CNN reported that Minnesota’s governor, Tim Waltz, had apologized to CNN’s president, Jeff Zucker, for the incident.
Waltz said Jimenez “clearly had the right to be there” and he was deeply sorry, CNN reported.
Meanwhile, Minneapolis Mayor, Jacob Frey has hit back at President Donald Trump, who branded him “very weak” over the protests that erupted in the Minnesota city after the police killing of George Floyd.