Black CNN reporter was arrested while his white colleague at same venue was not. Another CNN crew arrested while covering George Floyd protests on live TV

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A CNN reporter and his production crew were arrested in Minneapolis on Friday morning during a live broadcast about the ongoing protests over the officer who publicly executed George Floyd, a black man and a father of two children. They were later released from custody over an hour after the arrest. Another CNN reporter was arrested at a different venue while his white colleague was not.

CNN said news correspondent Omar Jimenez and his team were arrested because they allegedly didn’t heed a police request to move.

“A CNN reporter and 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, including the governor, must release the three CNN employees immediately,” CNN said in a statement before they were released.

A video shows Jimenez, who is black and Latino, holding up his badge and attempting to identify himself as reporter before an officer grabbed him and then cuffed him.

“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 said before he was led away.

“We were just getting out of your way when you were advancing through the intersection,” Jimenez added.

New York Daily reported that “officers ran toward crew — which also included producer Bill Kirkos and photojournalist Leonel Mendez — around 5 a.m. local time. They’d been attempting to arrest a protester as the CNN news team provided an on-air update on protests sparked by the death of Floyd, who repeatedly said he could not breathe while an officer knelt down on the back of his neck.”

CNN said another correspondent, who was not reporting in the same area was treated much differently than Jimenez.

“A black reporter from CNN was arrested while legally covering the protests in Minneapolis. A white reporter also on the ground was not,” the news station said.

CNN’s Josh Campell, who also was in the area but not standing with the on-air crew, said he, too, was approached by police, but was allowed to remain.

“I identified myself … they said, ‘OK, you’re permitted to be in the area,’” recounted Campbell, who is white. “I was treated much differently than (Jimenez) was.”

The incident prompted an immediate apology from Gov. Tim Walz, who told CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker that he is working to have the CNN crew released immediately.

Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba
Based in Washington, District of Columbia, United States of America, Simon leads a brilliant team of reporters, freelance journalists, analysts, researchers and contributors from around the world to run TODAY NEWS AFRICA as editor-in-chief. Simon Ateba's journalistic experience spans over 10 years and covers many beats, including business and investment, information technology, politics, diplomacy, human rights, science reporting and much more. Write him: simonateba@todaynewsafrica.com

2 COMMENTS

  1. P.S.
    How arrogant have US civil police become; in many jurisdictions they now fly, wear patches on uniforms, sell bumper stickers and flags depicting the American flag with an added Blue Stripe to it.

  2. As usual the most important part of reasons behind protest is being portrayed as a Black versus White issue; that of Militarized Civil Police that have been granted a form of immunity by the courts and have become seperated from civil prosecution.
    Police Departments set own policy and procedural rules, have police union lawyers to represent them against any citizens individual suits of law, citizen must pay for own legal representation, and lower courts 99.9% always side with police.
    A single policeman word outweighs the words of many witnesses.
    Before a policeman action can be brought to trial their own departments decide yes or no, and decide wether punishment is due to officer.
    They earn high salaries, as in the case of Minneapolis the 4 officers involve yearly salary plus benefits totaled over $500,000 USD.
    Breaking police procedures is a higher crime than the actual criminal act COMMITED upon a citizen; their in house investigations (reviews) can take months or years, and are not open to public view.
    In more egregious cases officers recieve full pay even if not working, are shuffled to desk jobs until retirement or are allowed to retire or leave and seek employ with another city police force.
    Over 18,000 full blown SWAT attacks are performed yearly within US, and reasons for covers gamut of wElfare check up, to possible drug possession or traffic tickets.
    A SWAT team is a fully equipped military unit , allowed to assassinate a subject at own discretion, and is not responsible for damages even in the over 20% of wrong house attacks.
    US civil police shoot and kill daily between 50 and 75 civilians pets, he’ll even iguanas, chihuahas, cats, and even though in 15% of cases a child was in direct line of fire courts ruled shootings left to police discretion.
    Escalation to violence by police of even minor violations, jaywalking traffic stops, looking mean at cop, common, until they get an angry reaction and then can arrest for resisting arrest.
    Bumps and bruises come with arrest.
    Jury trials are not that common in US, as most are settled out of court by pleading to lesser offence.
    1 out of every 15 US citizens are either under criminal restrictions or have some registration within Criminal Justice system, with number % far far higher among Blacks and Latinos.
    The cost nationwide of cases of police misconduct settled out of court and records sealed is in the 10’s of billions USD yearly, city taxpayers pay not police department or Unions.
    In less than 5% of all cases are the officers involved removed from police force.
    Police abuse towards Black and Latino has always been prevalent in US and the white population on the whole do not see the arrogant behavior between police and those minorities on a daily basis, and the deliberate demeaning of them by police.
    It is a fear tactic of long standing, but today it has reached such a high point that poor whites are also being targeted.
    In the US more unarmed black and Latinos are killed by police than US military men killed in foreign wars.
    And the unarmed are treated as no more than enemy war casualties.

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