The Minnesota State Patrol faced backlash Friday morning for its Twitter statement following the arrest of a CNN reporter and his crew.
Correspondent Omar Jimenez was reporting for the network’s “New Day” program at the scene of the Minneapolis riots that broke out following the death of George Floyd. Jimenez and his crew were arrested early Friday morning.
The live TV broadcast that captures the arrest shows Jimenez apparently explaining to the police officers that they had been told to stand there, were from CNN and were in the middle of a live television report.
“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 state patrol tweeted following the incident. “The three were released once they were confirmed to be members of the media.”
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
Jimenez could be heard on live TV telling the cops that the crew “could move back to” wherever was necessary and stated multiple times that they would all get out of the way. The three were released shortly after being arrested. The state patrol faced backlash for their tweet, with many people noting that the crew identified themselves as reporters from the start.
“This is not accurate — our CNN crew identified themselves, on live television, immediately as journalists,” CNN communications tweeted Friday. “We thank Minnesota @GovTimWalz for his swift action this morning to aid in the release of our crew.”
The Democratic governor spoke with CNN president Jeff Zucker regarding the arrest. Walz called the incident “totally unacceptable and totally inadvertent,” CNN reported on-air.
“If this is the statement when everyone can see the truth live on CNN for themselves, what happens when the camera is off?” CNN co-host Laura Jarrett wondered. Other CNN reporters criticized the state patrol’s claim in regards to the arrest as well.
Because the camera didn’t give it away. https://t.co/i61EjrtTXn
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) May 29, 2020
You can compare this statement with the live footage of this arrest https://t.co/AhpmiPfcIH
— Abby D. Phillip (@abbydphillip) May 29, 2020
Co-host of The Hill’s program “Rising” Saagar Enjeti called the statement “bullshit.” CNN senior Washington correspondent Jeff Zeleny called it “outrageous and patently not true.” Zeleny suggested they correct the comments “to restore even a shred of credibility to the patrol.”
“Omar Jimenez identified himself as a journalist with CNN to you folks while reporting live,” activist and writer Charlotte Clymer responded. “Who are you kidding?” (RELATED: Minneapolis 3rd Police Precinct On Fire After Officers Evacuate Building Amid George Floyd Riots)
“You don’t get to invent alternative facts,” Boykin added.
“The three were released once they were confirmed to be members of the media.”
I’m sorry, what? @OmarJimenez was live on air when he was arrested. There was no question that he and his crew were members of the media.
This is insane. https://t.co/aPo7g5joQW
— Yashar Ali ???? (@yashar) May 29, 2020
.@OmarJimenez literally was wearing a press badge and doing a live hit on TV and the police had to arrest him to confirm he was a reporter?
Omar said on air he is happy that it was caught on video and I am too.
But, this is the statement? https://t.co/hQAfTs0v5I
— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) May 29, 2020
The state patrol’s statement remain on Twitter at the time of this article’s publication. The patrol has not yet issued any additional statement to Twitter.