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CNN's Omar Jimenez and his crew were released after being arrested Friday by Minneapolis state police while reporting on the protests that followed the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody in the city.

What happened: CNN anchors said Jimenez and his crew were arrested for not moving after being told to by police, though the live footage prior to their arrests clearly shows Jimenez talking calmly with police and offering to move wherever necessary.

  • CNN producer Bill Kirkos and photojournalist Leonel Mendez were arrested alongside Jimenez.
  • Jimenez could be heard telling law enforcement before his arrest, "We can move back to where you like. ... We are getting of your way. Just let us know, wherever you'd want us let us know. We were getting out of your way when you were advancing the intersection."
  • Jimenez said that the officers were "pretty cordial" after his arrest, showed "no animosity" and weren't violent. He said he was told by the officer who led him away, "Look, I don't know, man. I'm just following orders."

Watch Jimenez live on air after his release, discussing the arrest:

The state of play: CNN reporter Josh Campbell was also reporting live in the area and noted he had also been approached by the police.

  • "I mean, it's unbelievable what's happening here. I was approached by the police here near the police station. One came up to me and asked who I was. I identified myself as a journalist. They asked what station. I told them CNN. They said, 'Okay, you're good.' They're pushing everyone else. A much different situation than what occurred with Omar Jimenez."
  • CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota noted, "It's just impossible not to note the difference. You are a white guy. Omar Jimenez identifies as black and Latino. Since the police didn't give us much of an explanation for what they were doing against the backdrop of these fires burning and George Floyd's death, it's impossible not to note the difference here."

What they're saying: CNN President Jeff Zucker spoke with Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, and CNN anchor John Berman said that Walz "deeply apologizes for what happened. He is going to have the team released. ... The governor accepts full responsibility."

  • The network called the arrests a "clear violation of their First Amendment rights" and called for the crew's immediate release.
  • CNN reporter Abby Phillip tweeted: "Watching my friend and colleague being surrounded by police and arrested while doing his job live on tv. ... I just can’t. @OmarJimenez conducted himself with incredible professionalism in a truly terrifying situation."
  • CNN legal analyst Elie Honig tweeted: "If and when these absurd charges are dropped against @OmarJimenez and his crew, we need to know who specifically authorized the arrests in the first place. Somebody gave a green light. Could be prosecutor, could be police supervisor. How high did this decision go? Name names."

The bottom line: "The one thing that gave me a little bit of comfort is that it happened on live TV. ... That speaks to the power of having something happen on camera because you can have people speak up for you without you saying anything. ... You don't have to doubt my story. It's not filtered in any sort of way," Jimenez said after his release.

Go deeper

Updated Sep 3, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Barr says "epidemic" of police brutality against Black people is "false narrative"

Attorney General Bill Barr denied Wednesday that there are "two justice systems" for Black and white people in the U.S., claiming in a wide-ranging interview on CNN that the idea that there is an "epidemic" of police shooting unarmed Black men is "simply a false narrative."

The big picture: Barr acknowledged that there is a "widespread phenomenon" of Black men being treated with "extra suspicion" and "maybe not being given the benefit of the doubt" by police officers, but he denied that this is the product of "systemic racism." A number of other Trump Cabinet officials and the president himself have denied that there is systemic racism in policing.

Updated 3 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Politics: Biden unveils "wartime" COVID strategyBiden's COVID-19 bubble.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong to put tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.

Trump impeachment trial to start week of Feb. 8, Schumer says

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: The Washington Post via Getty

The Senate will begin former President Trump's impeachment trial the week of Feb. 8, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Friday on the Senate floor.

The state of play: Schumer announced the schedule after reaching an agreement with Republicans. The House will transmit the article of impeachment against the former president late Monday.

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