Minneapolis George Floyd protests: US police arrest CNN reporter and crew live on air

29 May 2020, 11:45

By Asher McShane

This is the moment a black news correspondent covering the looting and rioting in Minneapolis was arrested live on air.

Viewers were stunned when during the live CNN broadcast correspondent Omar Jimenez was handcuffed by two police officers in protective gear before being led away. His crew were also arrested shortly afterwards.

They were put in handcuffs while covering the rioting and protests that have erupted in the city following the death of George Floyd, who died in hospital after a police officer knelt on his neck for several minutes. Shocking footage was taken showing Mr Floyd pleading for his life during the arrest.

Police arrested Omar Jiminez as he tried to cover the protests in Minneapolis
Police arrested Omar Jiminez as he tried to cover the protests in Minneapolis. Picture: CNN

The crew were asked to move by police and were cooperating, telling officers “we were getting out of your way when you were advancing through the intersection.”

But the CNN reporter was suddenly arrested during the live broadcast.

He can be heard saying: “This is the scene playing out here in Minneapolis. Part of the advance police presence we saw over the course of really minutes when local police showed up with the fire department.

“This is among the state patrol unit that was advancing up the street scattering protesters for people to clear the area and so we walked away.”

An officer then says: “You are under arrest” to Mr Jimenez. He responds: “Do you mind telling me why I’m under arrest sir?” The officer cannot be heard responding in the video.

He is then handcuffed and a voice can be heard saying: “We are with CNN.”

Mr Jimenez was led through a line of riot police before the rest of the crew were also arrested by police.

An astonished anchor in the studio says “our crew has been arrested as we were trying to cover what was happening there overnight with the demonstrations.

“State patrol arrested them.”

Police reportedly said they were arrested because they were told to move but failed to do so.

CNN said in a statement: "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."

Mr Jimenez and his crew were later released.

He said: “We had been in verbal contact with some of the place officers, saying ‘where can we be?’

“As people came down we saw them walking down the block. We wanted to make sure we were out of the way.

“We. saw at least one protester run past us and that person was cornered, after that person was apprehended they turned toward us.”