CNN journalist Omar Jimenez was arrested during a live broadcast at the site of the protests in Minneapolis, after clearly identifying himself as a member of the press to officers.
His crew, including a producer and a camera operator, were also placed in handcuffs.
The CNN camera was also taken into custody and continued to record as the crew was handcuffed, with police seemingly unaware that the camera was still on.
My eyes welled with tears viewing this. It shows a turning point in the war that Trump is waging. That’s not hyperbole. Destabilizing the election. Press freedoms compromised. Steel yourself. Expect more of this. Then ask yourself: what will you do? pic.twitter.com/oc6zpqQskx
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) May 29, 2020
The arrest has sparked nationwide outrage with many, including CNN, calling the act a clear violation of Oscar’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
About an hour later, Minnesota State Police took to Twitter to lie about what happened and informed everyone that Oscar and his crew were released.
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.
— MN State Patrol (@MnDPS_MSP) May 29, 2020
The video footage shows Oscar very clearly ?displaying his CNN badge before he was restrained.
CNN journalist Josh Campbell is also on the ground in Minneapolis, not far from where CNN reporter Omar Jimenez and his team were arrested.
Speaking to Josh earlier, CNN anchor John Berman pointed out that Oscar is Black and Latino, and Josh is white.
Josh made it clear he was “treated much differently.”
“I was treated much differently than [CNN correspondent Omar Jimenez] was. I’m sitting here talking to the National Guard, talking to the police. They’re asking politely to move here and there. A couple times I’ve moved closer than they would like. They asked politely to move back. They didn’t pull out the handcuffs. Lot different here than what Omar experienced.”
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz called the arrest unacceptable and totally inadvertent.
We hope CNN and Oscar sue the state of Minnesota for millions.