CNN Reporter Omar Jimenez And Crew Were Arrested Live On Air While Covering The George Floyd Protests
Early this morning in Minneapolis, CNN reporter Omar Jimenez, producer Bill Kirkos, and photojournalist Leonel Mendez were all put into handcuffs by police and shuffled away while covering the protests over the police killing of George Floyd. Omar and crew were doing their job of reporting the damn news when Minnesota State Police officers approached them. After police arrested one woman, they approached Omar and crew, and he let them know that they’re live on-air and will move wherever police want them to move. But police wanted to move them into a jail cell instead, and as anchors in CNN’s studio brain-burped out a river of WTFs, Omar was put into handcuffs while asking why he was being arrested. Police never gave him a reason. Omar was then taken away before police collected Bill and Leonel too.
All three were later released and police later claimed they had no idea they were members of the media. Ummm, errrr, I know that my vision is worse than a geriatric bat on bootleg poppers but even I can clearly see Omar holding a giant mic, standing in front of a camera, and wearing press credentials. Did police think they were playing reporter and crew for fun at 5 in the fucking morning? It’s way too early for that shit.
Here’s the video of police arresting Omar and crew:
After Omar, Bill, and Leonel were taken into custody, CNN shit on the authorities for violating their 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
Another CNN reporter, Josh Campbell, was in the area where Omar and crew were reporting from and was also approached by police. But after Josh let them know he’s a member of the media, he was told he could stay. The only difference between Omar and Josh is that Josh is white.
Here is @joshscampbell, a correspondent from CNN who is a white man, saying that he had absolutely no problem with the police. Highlighting the disparity.pic.twitter.com/gXs6yP1ZJA
— Erick Fernandez (@ErickFernandez) May 29, 2020
CNN says that Omar, Bill, and Leonel were told by police that they were arrested for refusing to move, which everyone with working eyes and ears knows that isn’t true. When they were released a little later, Omar went back on air and said that officers were “cordial” to them. While Omar was taken to the station, he let the arresting officer know that they were going to be reporting there for the next few days so he wondered where they should be. The officer pretty much shrugged and told Omar that he doesn’t know, he was just following orders.
CNN’s @OmarJimenez and his crew have been released from police custody. He recounts getting arrested and what happened while they were in custody. https://t.co/v3kMq77Oro pic.twitter.com/JoqmwlTc5i
— CNN (@CNN) May 29, 2020
Tim Walz, the Governor of Minnesota, also apologized to Jeff Zucker, the president of CNN.
Meanwhile, Trump is tweeting about shooting American citizens, and the cops involved in the death of George Floyd remain handcuff-free. (UPDATE: Derek Chauvin was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter for the death of George Floyd. The other three officers involved have not been arrested but are still under investigation.) Just when we think it wasn’t possible to pour more gasoline on this dumpster landfill fire of a year, it happens. And from now on, Omar will have to wear a lit-up, blinking hat that reads “I AM FROM CNN” while saying “I AM FROM CNN” after every other line. Honestly, if anybody from CNN deserves to be arrested, it’s whoever came up with those holograms. Although, maybe CNN should send holograms to report in Minneapolis since you can’t arrest a hologram. Cut to Minnesota State Police arresting a hologram.