CNN News Crew Arrested On Live TV While Reporting On George Floyd Protests
By Bill Galluccio
May 29, 2020
A CNN news crew was arrested by the Minnesota State Patrol during a live segment about the protests and riots occurring in Minneapolis following the death of George Floyd.
Omar Jimenez was reporting live from a few blocks away from a police station that was burned down overnight. As he was describing the scene, police officers wearing riot gear tried to take another individual into custody who ran into the middle of the empty road.
As the officers surrounded that person, they approached Jimenez and told him that they were placing him under arrest. He identified himself as a reporter and showed them his press credentials.
The officers said that he was being taken into custody because they asked him to move, but he refused.
"We can move back to where you like. We are live on the air here... Put us back where you want us. We are getting out of your way -- wherever you want us (we'll) get out of your way," Jimenez told the officers.
Jimenez was placed in handcuffs and led away along with his producer Bill Kirkos and photojournalist Leonel Mendez.
The crew was taken to the city's public safety building and was released about an hour later.
"We're doing OK now. There were a few uneasy moments there," Jimenez said.
After the incident, the Minnesota State Patrol issued a statement explaining that the officers were trying to clear the streets when they took the news crew into custody.
"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."
CNN disputed their claims, pointing out the Jiminez identified himself as a reporter multiple times.
"This is not accurate - our CNN crew identified themselves, on live television, immediately as journalists. We thank Minnesota @GovTimWalz for his swift action this morning to aid in the release of our crew," CNN replied on Twitter.