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During the third night of violent protests and riots in Minneapolis, CNN reporter Omar Jimenez and his crew were arrested on LIVE television!
Jimenez and his crew were airing a live segment on CNN close to a group of Minnesota State Patrol who are trying to keep peace in the city.
Speaking with members of law enforcement, Jimenez said, "Just let us know. Wherever you want us, we will go."
They appeared to move away from the intersection, but that's when they were arrested according to Breitbart:
An officer then told Jimenez, “You’re under arrest.
“I’m sorry?” the reporter asked.
“You’re under arrest,” the officer reiterated.
“OK. Do you mind telling me why I’m under arrest, sir? Why am I under arrest, sir?” Jimenez asked.
Members of the camera crew then tell the officers they are with CNN, and it is a live broadcast.
As the scene continued to unfold, the officers arrested other members of the crew. Another member from CNN on the scene told “New Day” they identified themselves to the police as being journalists and were told to stay in a certain section but were arrested while following orders.
“We’re going to need more information from the police as to what occurred,” the CNN employee stated.
See the dramatic arrest as it unfolded on live television below:
But here's where things get interesting...
CNN published a tweet where it appeared to suggest that Jimenez was only arrested because he was black.
Many online commentators have accused CNN of attempting to stir up racial tensions and encourage the riots.
See CNN's tweet below and judge for yourself:
As Minnesota struggles to grapple with the violence, Governor Tim Walz apologized to CNN for the arrest.
ABC confirms the apology:
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz apologized to CNN, saying he takes total responsibility for the arrest of one of the network's crews Friday as they reported on violent protests in Minneapolis following the death of George Floyd.
“This is a very public apology to that team,” Walz said at a news conference hours after correspondent Omar Jimenez and two colleagues were taken into custody by the Minnesota State Patrol and later released.
Jimenez was handcuffed and led away while reporting live on the air shortly after 5 a.m. Central Time. His colleagues Bill Kirkos and Leonel Mendez were also taken away, with Mendez placing his still-running camera on the ground to record his arrest.
The Minnesota State Patrol said on Twitter that the journalists were among four people arrested as troopers were “clearing the streets and restoring order” following the protests. Floyd died on Memorial Day shortly after being taken into custody on suspicion of passing a bad check and a white police officer knelt on his neck.
The patrol said the CNN journalists “were released once they were confirmed to be members of the media.”
There is no evidence to suggest that the arrest was made because of racism.
The state police were present to prevent violence and looting.
They have been trying to clear people from the streets to prevent more violence and damage.
In fact, curfews have been ordered for Minneapolis starting 8 pm on Friday.
Many users took to social media to claim that the arrest was staged.
While neither CNN or the police gave any indication to suggest this, many social media users are expressing their opinion that the arrest does not look real.
Some users studied the video and noted some unusual circumstances that could indicate that it was potentially staged.
See the social media posts below:
We certainly hope this was NOT staged.
If so, it would be a new low for CNN.
It's also difficult to imagine a scenario in which the state police would comply with a news network to stage an event simply to create a headline.
This isn't the first time that CNN has been accused of staging and event for publicity.
In 2017, CNN was accused by viewers of staging a fake protest in London, according to The Federalist:
In the wake of the terrorist attack in London that killed seven people and injured at least 48 others, some are accusing CNN of staging a protest against Islamist violence.
On Sunday, the day following the attack, Daily Mail‘s Katie Hopkins tweeted video footage of CNN’s Becky Anderson standing in front of a street corner waiting for protestors to fill in before filming and narrating the shot.
The protestors, many of whom are women wearing headscarves, are holding signs condemning the terrorist attack and violence. Several people seem to be standing behind the cameras waving at the protestors to tell them where to stand to get on camera, but it’s not clear if they are reporters, demonstrators, or bystanders.
Hopkins also tweeted that BBC News aired footage of the protest, covering it as “real news.”
Obviously, news outlets like CNN and BBC are supposed to document the news and protests as they happen — not arrange them to look more compelling. If it is true that reporters were helping the protestors or arranging them, that would breach journalism ethics.
CNN's very own Brian Stelter took to social media to defend the network, saying that it did not stage the London protests.