Early this morning, Minnesota state police officers dispatched to the scene of riots in Minneapolis arrested CNN reporter Omar Jimenez while he was live on camera doing a news broadcast. The footage, which was beamed into American living rooms in real time, shows a calm and polite Jimenez repeatedly offering to relocate if he’s in officers’ way. But instead of receiving clear instructions, he’s simply placed under arrest.
Jimenez was released from custody relatively quickly and returned to the airwaves to say, “That gave me a little bit of comfort knowing that you guys saw what was happening, I was living what was happening and the country was seeing what was happening unfold in real time before their eyes.”
The disturbing and as-yet-unexplained incident was resolved rapidly during a phone call between CNN president Jeff Zucker and Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, who apologized for Jimenez’s detention.
Live now on CNN as reported by @JohnBerman: CNN president Jeff Zucker spoke to Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz who apologized for State Police’s arrest of @OmarJimenez and our team. He is working to get them released. Walz said he takes full responsibility for what happened.— Abby D. Phillip (@abbydphillip) May 29, 2020
Arrests of journalists who were attempting to cover protests in Ferguson, Missouri, emerged as a major theme of the events that played out in that city in 2014 — directly exposing people with large platforms to some of the kind of conduct that concerned protesters.