“We can move back to where you like,” he told the officers wearing gas masks and face shields, before explaining live on air that he and his crew were members of the press. “We’re getting out of your way.”
“This is among the state patrol unit that was advancing up the street, seeing and scattering the protesters at that point for people to clear the area. And so we walked away,” Jimenez said before being told he was under arrest and handcuffed by two officers. “Why am I under arrest, sir?”
No answer was audible.
— CNN (@CNN) May 29, 2020
CNN said a producer and a camera operator working with Jimenez were also arrested before the crew was released.
The arrest and brief defetention came as riots erupted across the US over the death of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man who died in Minneapolis while in police custody.
‘You saw it with your own eyes’
“What gave me one bit of comfort was that it happened on live TV,” Jimenez told viewers after he was released. “You don’t have to doubt my story it’s not filtered in any way; you saw it with your own eyes.”
The striking footage of the arrest could add to racial tension in the city and across the country, where sympathy protests have taken place.
Thursday marked a third night of arson, looting and vandalism in the Minnesota city over the death of Floyd, seen on video gasping for breath while a white police officer knelt on his neck.
“A CNN reporter and his production team were arrested this morning in Minneapolis for doing their jobs, despite identifying themselves – a clear violation of their First Amendment rights,” CNN wrote on Twitter before the crew were released.
CNN anchor John Berman told viewers about an hour after the arrest that CNN President Adam Zucker had spoken with Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, who said he “deeply apologises” and was working to have the crew released immediately.
Walz has declared a state of emergency in Minnesota and ordered the National Guard activated. President Donald Trump suggested in a tweet that looters would be shot. Twitter hid Trump’s tweet with a warning for “glorifying violence.”
Protests also erupted in other major cities around the country, including Louisville, Kentucky, where police said seven people had been shot.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP and REUTERS)
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