CNN reporter Omar Jimenez, along with two members of his producing team, was arrested early Friday morning while covering the Minneapolis protests. Their arrests, which were captured in a live broadcast, came despite Jimenez explaining to Minnesota state patrol officials that they were media.
“Put us back where you want us, we are getting out of your way, so just let us know,” Jimenez, who is Black and Latino, is heard telling officers before he’s placed in handcuffs. “Wherever you want us, we will go, we’re just getting out of the way.”
With the camera still rolling, Jimenez continued to explain to viewers the latest from the demonstrations when an officer interrupted, saying, “You’re under arrest.”
— New Day (@NewDay) May 29, 2020
Another CNN reporter, Josh Campbell, a white man, said that he was nearby the scene and also stopped by police. But after identifying himself as a journalist, as Jimenez did, police allowed Campbell to carry on. “I was treated much differently than [Jimenez] was,” Campbell said.
Jimenez and his team, producer Bill Kirkos and photojournalist Leonel Mendez, have since been released. In a statement shortly after, the Minnesota State Patrol appeared to misrepresent the incident in order to justify the arrests.
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