advocacy

Omar Jimenez arrested in Minneapolis, Minnesota while reporting amid George Floyd protests

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Omar Fernando Jimenez and his crew were arrested by the police while he was giving a live television report in Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States on the morning of May 29, 2020. While reporting, the Latino-African-American journalist was holding his CNN badge.

Jimenez identified himself as a reporter when he was surrounded by six white officers from the Minnesota State Patrol wearing gas masks and face shields. One of the cops told him he was under arrest without giving an explanation.

The camera continued recording the encounter while the reporter and the other members of his crew were being handcuffed. Jimenez told the cops. “We can move back to where you like.”

“We are live on the air here,” Jimenez continued. “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 added. “We were just getting out of your way when you were advancing through the intersection.”

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It was the third day of protests against the death of George Floyd involving former cops Derek Chauvin, Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane and a police precinct had been set ablaze in Minneapolis. For the live broadcast of the CNN show “New Day,” Jimenez was reporting from a street near that precinct along with white producer Bill Kirkos and Hispanic photojournalist Leonel Mendez.

The police accused Jimenez, Birkos and Mendez of disobeying them after asking them to move. The three were released after being detained for about an hour.

Jimenez has been working for CNN since August 2017. His recent arrest exacerbated the debate surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement and prompted a conversation between CNN president Jeff Zucker and Minnesota governor Tim Walz, who has apologized.

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