Carmine Sabia| OPINION| A dramatic scene played out on CNN on Friday morning after police asked him and his team to move from their location in Minneapolis.
The team was covering the riots that have gripped the city but, watching the video, it appeared that the reporter, Omar Jimenez, was complying with police.
A member of the crew said that they were arrested for refusing to move, but Jimenez is heard on camera telling the police that he and his crew would go wherever the police told them to.
— CNN (@CNN) May 29, 2020
“Put us back to where you want us – wherever you’d want us we’ll go. Just let us know,” the reporters is heard saying.
Jimenez told the police that they were live on CNN when the handcuffs were put on them and they were taken away.
“Do you mind telling me why I am under arrest sir? Why am I under arrest sir,” he said as he was removed from the scene.
CNN’s Josh Campbell was also at the scene and explained what happened between the reporter and the police.
“I identified myself … they said, ‘OK, you’re permitted to be in the area. I was treated much differently than (Jimenez) was,” he said.
The elusion being that Jimenez was not treated as good as Campbell was because Jimenez is a black man.
“”I will publicly address what happened this morning and apologize to the crew. You are essential to our democracy and your ability to report must be unhindered,” Gov. Tim Walz said to CNN head Jeff Zucker.
Minnesota governor Tim Walz to CNN chief Jeff Zucker just now: "I will publicly address what happened this morning and apologize to the crew. You are essential to our democracy and your ability to report must be unhindered."
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) May 29, 2020
After he was released, Jimenez went back to the air and said “Everyone was pretty cordial,” of his interaction with police.
“I said to the officer who arrested me, “look, we’re going to be here for the next few days. Where do you want us to be?” And he said “I don’t know, I’m just following orders.”
‘There was no animosity. No one was violent with me,’ the reporter said of his interaction with the police.
“That conversation may have happened above some of the people we were with. For us, they came back and said: “You’re with CNN, correct?” Jimenez said.
“They let us out of the van, we were handcuffed in the van, then they came back with our belongings. They unclipped our handcuffed. That is when we were let out.
“There was no sort of, “sorry this was a misunderstanding.” It seemed like this conversation might have happened but it didn’t happen with us,” the reporter said.
“The arrest happened, I was trying to communicate with you all. I couldn’t really understand what was going on but as we were walking away… it did cross my mind that what is really happening here?
“The one thing that gave me a little bit of comfort was that it happened on live TV.
“Let’s just say what happened with George Floyd… what’s happening isn’t new. It’s on camera,” he said.