By CNN Wire
A CNN crew, including African-American reporter Omar Jimenez, was arrested by police Friday morning while giving a live television report in Minneapolis, where the crew was covering ongoing protests over the death of #GeorgeFloyd.
The crew was handcuffed and detained as Jimenez gave a live report on a Minneapolis street shortly after 5 a.m. CT (6 a.m. ET).
CNN lawyers and executives immediately worked to secure their release.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz apologized for the arrest, saying: “It was totally unacceptable.”
The crew was released about one hour later.
Minnesota State Patrol said in a statement on Twitter: “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.”
When the arrest happened, police told the crew they were being detained because they were told to move, and didn’t, one member of the CNN crew relayed to the network.
Officers approached the crew as they moved in to arrest a protester behind them.
Jimenez could be seen holding his CNN badge while reporting, identifying himself as a reporter, and telling the officers the crew would move wherever officers needed them to. An officer gripped his arm as Jimenez talked, then put him in handcuffs.
“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 said before he was led away.
“We were just getting out of your way when you were advancing through the intersection,” Jimenez said.
Jimenez and the crew had been reporting from the site — near a city police department precinct that protesters had burned and officers had abandoned overnight.
About a block away, a fire was burning at a different, four-storey building that had contained restaurants.
Over 100 state police officers in body armour and riot gear had arrived and lined up near the area where the CNN crew was, near the precinct building on East Lake Street.
After the photographer was arrested, his camera was set on the ground and continued to transmit live images.
Cheering protesters torched the police station Thursday that the department was forced to abandon as the three days of violent protests spread to nearby St. Paul.
Angry demonstrations flared across the U.S over the death of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man who pleaded for air as a white police officer kneeled on his neck.
Protests first erupted Tuesday, a day after Floyd’s death in a confrontation with police captured on widely seen citizen video.
On the video, Floyd can be seen pleading as Officer Derek Chauvin presses his knee against him.
As minutes pass, Floyd slowly stops talking and moving. The 3rd Precinct covers the portion of south Minneapolis where Floyd was arrested.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz earlier Thursday activated the National Guard at the Minneapolis mayor’s request, but it wasn’t immediately clear when and where the Guard was being deployed, and none could be seen during protests in Minneapolis or St. Paul.
The Guard tweeted minutes after the precinct burned that it had activated more than 500 soldiers across the metro area.
Floyd’s death has deeply shaken Minneapolis and sparked protests in cities across the U.S. Local leaders have repeatedly urged demonstrators to avoid violence.