CNN Reporter Arrested on Live Television Amid George Floyd Protests

Omar Jimenez, a black and Latino CNN correspondent, was arrested on live television Friday morning while covering the George Floyd protests in Minneapolis.

Shortly after 5 a.m. CT, Jimenez, his producer Bill Kirkos, and photojournalist Leonel Mendez were put in handcuffs and taken into custody even after they were heard on camera identifying themselves as members of the media.

“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 told cops before his detainment.

Jimenez was also seen on camera holding up his CNN badge.

A CNN staffer later told the network that the three men were handcuffed because they were allegedly told by police to move and didn’t.

After Jimenez, Kirkos, and Mendez were taken to the city’s downtown public safety building, CNN wrote a tweet calling on Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz to order their release.

Walz told CNN president Jeff Zucker that he “deeply apologizes” for the “unacceptable” arrests and would work to have the crew let go.

Jimenez, Kirkos, and Mendez were eventually released after 6 a.m. CT.

Following his release, Jimenez continued reporting in downtown Minneapolis and said he was treated cordially during the ordeal.

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

Fellow CNN correspondent Josh Campbell, who was in the area but did not stand with the on-air crew, said he was also approached by police but was not detained.

“I identified myself... They said, ‘OK, you’re permitted to be in the area,’” Campbell recalled. “I was treated much differently than [Jimenez] was.”

While Mendez is Hispanic, both Kirkos and Campbell are white.

After the incident, Minnesota State Patrol wrote a tweet saying the three CNN crewmembers “were released once they were confirmed to be members of the media.”

However, CNN immediately disputed this statement, writing, “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.”


More In Real Talk

Real Talk Sunday, March 07

18 Years After 'That’s So Raven,' Child Actor Kyle Massey Stars in New Show…

Actor, entrepreneur, and musician Kyle Massey is most known for his role on “That’s So Raven,” but now he’s all grown up and starring in a new show, “Millennials,” on ALLBLK. He also dishes on his involvement with the Tiger Woods Learning Center and working with the tech industry as the creator of “Streamlabs,” an app that streams live concerts and broadcasts them globally.

Real Talk Friday, March 05

Garcelle Reveals What We Can Expect from 'Coming 2 America' 30 Years Later!

After 30 years, fans of “Coming to America” can now enjoy Prince Akeem and his hilarious friends in the sequel! Garcelle gives us the inside scoop on what to expect. Plus, what happens if your friend invites themselves to your event they weren’t initially asked to attend? We share our firsthand experience in the importance of speaking up for yourself!