CNN Reporter Omar Jimenez and Crew Arrested While Covering Street Closures at Intersection of Lake St and Minnehaha Ave, Minneapolis


A CNN crew was arrested with a live camera while giving a live television report to CNN anchor Alyson Camerota Friday morning May 29, 2020 in Minneapolis — and then released about an hour later. The CNN crew was in Minneapolis following the death of George Floyd during a knee-to-neck hold by a police officer.

The CNN crew was facing south on Minnehaha Avenue (County Rd 48) just south of Lake Street at 5:09 AM CT Friday May 29, 2020. Minnesota State Patrol were in a line behind CNN correspondent Omar Jimenez (at his back and to his north). Part of the police group began running. Jimenez became aware of police commotion behind his back, which was caused when a citizen ran into the street in front of him and complained to police, according to Jimenez, “where were you when this neighborhood completely got destroyed.” The citizen was detained, and a new police line formed across Minnehaha Avenue facing north and advanced toward the CNN crew that had just captured video of the citizen being detained by the police. So now, a police line was behind Jimenez and crew, and in front of Jimenez and crew. Jimenez told the police that the crew could move back where the police want them to move.

Jimenez To Minnesota State Patrol

“Put us back where you want us. We are getting out of your way. Just lets us know. Where ever you want us, we will go. We were just getting out of your way when you were advancing through the intersection.”

— Omar Jimenez

Meanwhile a Minnesota State Patrol officer grabbed the left upper arm of Omar Jimenez as he was holding his microphone in that arm and continuing to broadcast live. A Minnesota State Patrol lieutenant walked up and told Jimenez he was under arrest. Jimenez asked why, and he was handcuffed and taken away by the lieutenant, apparently without explanation. The rest of the crew was arrested as they explained they were a CNN crew reporting on the closure of the streets.

The location of the arrest at the intersection of Lake Street and Minnehaha Avenue is also the location of the 3rd Precinct Police Station (at the southwest corner). Minnehaha Lake Wine & Spirits is located at the southeast corner (visible with smoke billowing in the background a distance behind the liquor store). A looted and temporarily closed Target store is located at the northwest corner of the intersection. A burned out and destroyed AutoZone Auto Parts store is located at the northeast corner of the intersection.

Jimenez and his crew were released later Friday morning. According to CNN, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz told CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker that he deeply apologizes for what happened and would work to have the crew released.

CNN reporter Omar Jimenez, producer Bill Kirkos, and photojournalist Leonel Mendez — were taken to the city’s downtown public safety building, but were released after 6 a.m. CT, according to CNN.

After his release, Jimenez reported live in front of the Hennepin County Public Safety Building at 401 South 4th Avenue, and said he’d been treated cordially by police after he’d been led away.

“We’re doing OK, now. There were a few uneasy moments there,” Jimenez said.

The Minneapolis State Patrol responded to incident with the following explanation: “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.”

According to CNN, they disputed the state police characterization in a statement on Twitter …

“This is not accurate — our CNN crew identified themselves, on live television, immediately as journalists. We thank Minnesota @GovTimWalz for his swift action this morning to aid in the release of our crew.”

CNN’s Omar Jimenez is released from police custody after being arrested while covering protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Minnesota State Patrol arrested the team live on CNN.

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