This story has been updated.
A CNN journalist and his entire camera crew were arrested by Minnesota state police Friday morning during their live television coverage of the aftermath of Minneapolis protests over the killing of George Floyd.
While standing in the middle of a street in front of police officers in riot gear, CNN correspondent Omar Jimenez cooperatively asked the officers where they would like him to stand before two officers approached him from behind, placed him in handcuffs, and led him away. The officers did not respond as Jimenez asked repeatedly why he was being arrested.
Moments later, members of Jimenez’s camera crew were also arrested.
“Why are they being arrested after clearly identifying themselves and complying?” asked Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.). “This is outrageous and not helpful.”
As Jimenez and others were led away, CNN anchor John Berman—back in the studio watching the arrests happen live—said, “I’ve never seen anything like this.”
“They arrested a CNN reporter and camera crew for reporting the news but not Derek Chauvin, the police officer who killed George Floyd on camera,” tweeted attorney Midwin Charles. “The irony astounds me.”
About an hour after their arrest, Jimenez and his crew were released from police custody.
Jimenez appeared on air following his release and gave his account of the incident:
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz apologized for the arrest of the CNN crew Friday morning, calling it “totally unacceptable.”
“They clearly had the right to be there,” said Walz. “It is never acceptable for this to happen.”
In a statement condemning the actions of the Minnesota police, the ACLU said “journalists should never be arrested in this country for doing their job.”
“People are in the streets of Minneapolis demanding racial justice, and the public has a right to see it,” the group said. “Public transparency is absolutely necessary for police accountability.”