According to CNN, “State police detained CNN correspondent Omar Jimenez, his producer and his photojournalist shortly after 5 a.m. CT (6 a.m. ET) as Jimenez was reporting live from a street south of downtown, near where a police precinct was earlier set ablaze.”
Coverage of the event was captured live by CNN cameras as anchor Alysin Camerota gave a play by play. It’s riveting footage.
However, there’s two sets of footage floating around. One set is less than two minutes, seen here:
“It didn’t make any sense to me,” law enforcement analyst Charles Ramsey says about the arrest of a CNN team in Minneapolis who had clearly identified themselves as press. “…There’s no way something like that should occur.” https://t.co/caz6vZT4af pic.twitter.com/XCXsqU74iX
— CNN (@CNN) May 29, 2020
Another set is over 6 minutes and offers context to the shorter footage. That can be seen here:
Watch the full CNN video. The cops asked the crew to move back. The crew agreed but didn't. Then someone spoke into the CNN team's ear pieces, the camera turned back to Omar & he began to broadcast w/out moving back. After 30 secs the cops arrested him.
CNN staged this. https://t.co/jS9DLR3FKt
— Rich Weinstein (@phillyrich1) May 29, 2020
To help set the stage, earlier this week, while George Floyd, an African American, was on the ground, hands cuffed and completely under police control, 19 year veteran Officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee to Floyd’s neck while Floyd begged to breathe. Floyd died soon after.
Riots, protests, looting and violence soon followed. Things quieted overnight. Early this morning the police seemed to have regained control of Minneapolis.
As the CNN crew led by Jiminez reported, the police asked the crew to move back. While on air, Jiminez explained to the police that they were in the process of moving back.
The camera turned toward the police to watch their response. There wasn’t any. They stood stoically. As the longer video shows but the shorter video omits, at the 40 second mark, in what appears to be a coordinated act, the CNN camera turns back to Jiminez and in direct defiance of the police officers’ orders, he begins to reset the stage for the CNN audience. After 30 seconds of live broadcast and not moving back, the police politely arrested Jiminez and his crew for defying their orders.
Camerota, still doing play by play for the audience, falsely tells her audience that the CNN team was standing where they were told to stand, although just minutes earlier on video Jiminez states that they were told to move back.
While the police may not have had to arrest Jiminez and the CNN crew to achieve their goal of moving everyone back, CNN clearly created and exacerbated the situation by not adhering to police commands. As noted, it appears as though someone from CNN spoke to the crew via their ear pieces and told them to continue broadcasting despite the officers’ orders to move back.
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CNN is not the victim. Although the situation on the street had calmed, it was still a highly charged environment. CNN should have simply walked back to where the police barriers were and broadcast from there. As CNN themselves note: “…Jimenez was reporting live from a street south of downtown, near where a police precinct was earlier set ablaze.”
He should not have been reporting. He should have been walking. And because of that, he was removed from the scene.
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