Early Friday morning, CNN reporter Omar Jimenez and his crew were arrested while covering the protests that have sprung up in Minneapolis following the death of George Floyd.It was an appalling violation of the protections afforded journalists while covering a story — and within an hour or so Jimenez and the crew had been released.
Democratic Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz held a press briefing on the ongoing unrest in his state later Friday. Amid an update on how he would deal with the protests as well as the investigation into Floyd’s death, Walz took a moment to address the arrest of Jimenez and his crew.Here’s what he said. (It’s long but important):
“I also want to address an issue and this one is on me and I will own it. Earlier this morning when this mission was carried out, under my direction to re-secure the third precinct, to do so in a manner which I am proud of how it was executed by this team, no injuries and no loss of life, a reestablishment to put the fires out for those businesses, a CNN reporter, a crew, was arrested by the state patrol. A few minutes after hearing that, I was on a call with CNN president Jeff Zucker who demanded to know what happened. I take full responsibility. There is absolutely no reason something like this should happen. Calls were made immediately. This is a very public apology to that team. It should not happen. And I want to be clear for those of you listening. I think our Minnesota reporters know this. I am a teacher by trade, and I have spent my time as governor highlighting the need to be as transparent as possible and have the press here. I failed you last night in that. And it does not escape me that we are here on the catalyst that lit the spark by what happened with a police detainment of George Floyd, and the idea that a reporter would have been taken while another police action was in play is inexcusable …