Black CNN Reporter Arrested Covering Minneapolis Protest

By 830 WCCO

(WCCO) Live on television, a black and Hispanic CNN reporter was arrested by Minnesota state patrol while covering the scene of violent, fiery riots that supporters say is meant to show authorities that black lives matter.

Reporter Omar Jimenez was live on camera during his inexplicable arrest and stayed quiet, calm and polite while they hauled him away.

Are you actually kidding me? Minnesota police arrest a black CNN reporter live on air as he covers riots caused by police

— Matthew Thompson (@mattuthompson) May 29, 2020

Police initially said he was arrested because he was told to move and didn't ... but the video told a different story. Gov. Tim Walz ordered his immediate release, apologized to CNN, and addressed it during a Friday press conference, which can be heard on by rewinding to 10:30 a.m. CST. 

This comes as the city burns during a series of nightly, escalating violence and rage protesting the death of George Floyd, a black man who passed away after a Minneapolis cop knelt on the back of his neck for at least seven minutes during an arrest for a minor offense. Information later came to the light that the cop with his knee on Floyd's neck has 12 previous complaints against him, and that potential Democratic Vice Presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar, now a Minneapolis senator, had refused to prosecute him in an earlier case.

In Jimenez' arrest, public reaction to the arrest was swift, with many noting on social media they couldn't believe they were watching it happen live. 

That arrest if the CNN crew was no mistake - they identified themselves (and had a camera and mic).

— Zach Clark (@ZachEClark) May 29, 2020

Y’all can arrest a black CNN reporter and his cameraman for no apparent reason but can’t arrest a one of your own who killed a man on video in broad daylight @MinneapolisPD???

— Matthew A. Cherry (@MatthewACherry) May 29, 2020

.@Bakari_Sellers: “Law enforcement in Minneapolis had the audacity…to arrest a reporter of color while doing his job and following command, but the...officer who put his knee in the back of the neck of a man and choked him for 8 minutes is still free to walk around."

— CNN (@CNN) May 29, 2020

And many noted the disparity in the fact a black man peacefully doing his job was arrested while a white man who killed a man during an arrest walks free. An FBI and internal investigation are playing out against the four officers involved in Floyd's deadly arrest. While many have called for criminal charges, including the mayor, none has yet been forthcoming.

As for CNN, the coompany released a statement saying the arrest was a clear violation of the reporter's First Amendment rights.

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