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Video: CNN crew arrested on live video during Minneapolis protests

The Minneapolis Third Police Precinct is set on fire during a third night of protests following the death of George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody, on Thursday, May 28, 2020. (Carlos Gonzalez/Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS)
May 29, 2020

A CNN reporter and his production team were arrested Friday morning in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

CNN reported that reporter Omar Jimenez, producer Bill Kirkos, and photojournalist Leonel Mendez were all detained by Minneapolis State Patrol around 5 a.m. Friday while filming a live shot. The video followed Jimenez as he was led away in handcuffs by police before the cameraman appeared to set down the camera, facing his own arrest.

Jimenez identified himself and showed his press badge to police but was still detained.

“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,” Minneapolis State Patrol tweeted about the incident.

CNN has disputed the police statement on the incident, noting that Jimenez identified himself to police on live television. He could also be seen holding a microphone and facing the news camera that filmed the shot.

Jimenez reportedly told officers, “We can move back to where you like. We are live on the air here. … 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, Kirkos and Mendez were reportedly taken to the city’s downtown public safety building and released around an hour later, at 6 a.m.

“We’re doing okay, now. There were a few uneasy moments there,” Jimenez said following his release.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz reportedly reached out to CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker to apologize for the incident.

The arrest incident occurred amid ongoing coverage in Minneapolis after rioters set fire to a police precinct the night before, in protest of the death of George Floyd.

Floyd was a black man who was arrested on Monday by Minneapolis police and died in police custody. Video of a white officer placing his knee on the back of Floyd’s neck sparked the outrage that has grown into rioting and looting in recent nights.

Josh Campbell, another CNN employee, said he was also approached by police while on the ground in Minneapolis, but he was allowed to remain where he was.