In the middle of a live transmission during the Minneapolis protests, Minnesota police arrested a CNN correspondent for apparently no reason.
American television reporter Omar Jimenez clearly identified himself as a reporter and respectfully explained that the news team would follow the directions of police. In the middle of his report, he was detained by police without explanation, leaving the viewers and everyone else stunned.
He continually asked the police where they wanted him to stand and they didn't answer him. WTF? https://t.co/hLcIednxc9
— Nick Diunte (@ExamineBaseball) May 29, 2020
Why else would they do it other than to prove a point? To show people of color that the accused murderers of George Floyd and so many others are still in charge and nothing that has transpired over the past few days will stop them from being aggressive, unreasonable, and violent towards people of color.
Jimenez isn’t new to the business. He worked at WBALTV as a reporter from July 2015 through June 2017.
The fact that the white reporter who was also on the ground wasn’t arrested is a clear message to Black America.
CNN reporter Omar Jimenez, who is black and Latino, and his team were arrested by officers early this morning in Minneapolis. Not far away, CNN journalist Josh Campbell, who is white, says he was "treated much differently." https://t.co/1ZpqdyJON2 pic.twitter.com/vPFLTx8UnK
— CNN (@CNN) May 29, 2020
CNN released a statement, calling the Minnesota PD’s actions a clear violation of Jimenez’s rights. Producer Bill Kirkos and photojournalist Leonel Mendez — were also taken to the city’s downtown public safety building, but were released after 6 a.m. CT. They were collateral damage. The statement was already made with the arrest of Jimenez during a live interview. A power a flex police department resistant to change would make.
CNN statement about this morning's arrests: "A clear violation of their First Amendment rights. The authorities in Minnesota, including the governor, must release the three CNN employees immediately."
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) May 29, 2020
The Governor of Minnesota apologized for the incident, but all it does is highlight the disconnect between leadership in Minnesota and the police department which has functioned as a separate gang for years. The city’s Police Department has received many excessive force complaints, especially by black residents.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has apologized for the arrest of a CNN reporter and camera crew and says he will have them released. “It was totally unacceptable.” https://t.co/wzsTRlW3I4 pic.twitter.com/7xec3wTnbm
— CNN (@CNN) May 29, 2020
Arresting the Black man is par for the course and the Minnesota police’s arrest of Jimenez was a harsh and visual reminder that they still run the city, don’t respect Black folk and a confrontation of larger proportions is on the horizon.