CNN Reporter Omar Jimenez Arrested On Live TV While Covering Minneapolis Protests

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CNN reporter Omar Jimenez was arrested live on-air Friday morning. Jimenez was reporting a live segment in Minneapolis, Minnesota, for the network's show, New Day, which was covering the protests that broke out in the city as a result of George Floyd's death earlier this week.

Floyd, a black man living in Minnesota, died after a police officer held him down by the neck with his knee for more than seven minutes when he was arrested for suspicion of forgery outside a deli. 

In a video of Jimenez's report, many police officers in riot gear were seen standing behind him. Some of the officers were then seen tackling one person to the ground, before approaching Jimenez and his crew.

Jimenez identified himself, offered to move the crew back and informed the officers that he was live on-air. As an officer held Jimenez's arm, he continued calmly reporting, giving details about where he was and what was going on.

"You're under arrest," another officer told Jimenez, as he began handcuffing the reporter.

"OK," Jimenez replied. "Do you mind telling me why I'm under arrest? Why am I under arrest, sir?"

After being led away in handcuffs, Jimenez's producer and camera crew were also arrested. Neither Jimenez nor his crew were given a reason for their arrests. 

Following the arrests, fellow CNN reporter Abby Phillip tweeted that CNN president Jeff Zucker spoke to Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, who apologized for the incident.

"He is working to get them released," Phillip wrote, citing her colleague, John Berman's, reporting. "Walz said he takes full responsibility for what happened."

Jimenez went back on-air following his release, explaining that he and his crew were arrested after they changed their position in order to move out of the way of the police.

"Everyone was pretty cordial after that happened," said Jimenez, who added that a police officer told him he was "just following orders."

"There was no animosity there. They weren’t violent with me," he said. "We were having conversation about how crazy this week has been for every single part of the city. A lot of these people are on edge."

Jimenez revealed that he and the crew continued to identify themselves to police as they remained handcuffed in a van, before their belongings were returned and they were allowed to leave.

"There was a moment, I would say, minutes after it happened that things started to sink in a little bit," Jimenez said.  "... The one thing that gave me a little bit of comfort was that it happened on live TV. When you talk within the community about, let’s just say what happened with George Floyd, there’s a discussion that, what’s happening isn’t new, it’s being filmed."

"That speaks to the power of having something happen on camera because you can have people speak up for you without you saying anything. That gave me a little bit of comfort knowing you guys [CNN anchors] saw what was happening, I was living what was happening, and the country was seeing what was happening unfold in real time right before their eyes ," he continued. "You don’t have to doubt my story, it’s not filtered in any sort of way, you saw it for your own eyes. That gave me a little bit of comfort, but it was nerve-wracking at certain points.".

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