Governor orders release of CNN crew arrested covering Minneapolis riots

“It was totally unacceptable and totally inadvertent what happened,” Gov. Tim Walz said.

Sam Masterson
May 29, 2020 - 9:57 am
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(KMOX/AP) - The Minnesota governor reportedly told CNN he accepts full responsibility for the arrest of the station's news crew Friday morning during a live report of the civil unrest in Minneapolis.

The crew, including correspondent Omar Jimenez, were handcuffed and detained while covering the ongoing riots over the death of George Floyd. It happened while Jimenez gave a live report on a Minneapolis street shortly after 5 a.m. CT.

Related: Protesters block street, chant outside St. Louis Police headquarters: 'Whose streets? Our streets'

Gov. Tim Walz ordered the release of Jimenez, producer Bill Kirkos and photojournalist Leonel Mendez at 8 a.m., Friday.

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. The entire incident was broadcasted live on CNN:

A statement from CNN’s communication team said the arrest was a “clear violation” of their First Amendment rights.

“The authorities in Minnesota, including the Governor, must release the 3 CNN employees immediately,” the statement says.

The president of CNN, Jeff Zucker, spoke with Walz. He said he “deeply apologizes” for what happened.

“It was totally unacceptable and totally inadvertent what happened,” Walz said. “They clearly had the right to be there. We want the media there, to cover this. It is never acceptable for this to happen.”

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