A CNN reporter and his camera crew were arrested live on TV early Friday while reporting on the Minneapolis, Minnesota riots.
Correspondent Omar Jimenez was reporting on “New Day” at the scene of the riots that broke out following the death of George Floyd. He noted that police were beginning “to secure the area to ensure that people don’t come back.” A scuffle ensued behind Jimenez as police ran towards and arrested another person, and moments later Jimenez appeared to be surrounded by police himself.
Jimenez and the crew were released later Friday morning, CNN reported.
During the arrest video, the CNN correspondent can be heard explaining to the cops that they were told to stand there, were from the network and were in the middle of a live television report. He told the cops that the crew “could move back to” wherever they wanted and reiterated multiple times that they would all get out of the cops way.
“You’re under arrest, sir,” a cop is then heard saying as the camera swivels to show Jimenez being placed in handcuffs. The CNN correspondent asked why he was under arrest and was then led away. The camera crew was then also placed under arrest and the camera was left behind.
“I have never seen anything like this,” a CNN anchor is heard saying off camera as the arrest took place. (RELATED: Minneapolis 3rd Police Precinct On Fire After Officers Evacuate Building Amid George Floyd Riots)
The Daily Caller was directed to a statement issued on Twitter by CNN regarding the arrest. The network called for an immediate release of its employees.
“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,” CNN said according to a statement. “The authorities in Minnesota, incl. the Governor, must release the 3 CNN employees immediately.”
CNN’s camera continued to show live images following the crew’s arrest and the network continued to roll footage from it.
The image on the left is a live CNN camera that continues to broadcast even though the CNN crew and correspondent @OmarJimenez have been arrested by law enforcement.
An outrageous infringement on press freedom. pic.twitter.com/TD6rJ3lx3f
— Yashar Ali ???? (@yashar) May 29, 2020
Democratic Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz called the arrests “totally unacceptable and totally inadvertent” after speaking with CNN president Jeff Zucker, the network reported. Walz “deeply apologizes” for the arrest, CNN reported.
“They clearly had the right to be there, the CNN team. We want the media there to cover this [the riots]. It is never acceptable for this to happen. The governor accepts full responsibility,” CNN’s John Berman said, citing what Walz told Zucker.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has apologized for the arrest of a CNN reporter and camera crew and says he will have them released. “It was totally unacceptable.” https://t.co/wVY0zMF1zD pic.twitter.com/mRA7HpA3gU
— New Day (@NewDay) May 29, 2020
The Trump campaign also issued a statement regarding the arrests, writing that Walz and Democratic Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey “have completely lost control in Minneapolis in a catastrophic display of failed leadership.”
“The city is on fire & they outrageously arrested a CNN crew,” the campaign tweeted.
Jimenez immediately returned to the air following his release, Deadline reported.