The Minnesota chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and the Twin Cities Black Journalists, the local chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists, condemn the arrest of Omar Jimenez and the CNN reporting team by State Patrol troopers live on the air at approximately 5:15 a.m. on Friday, May 29.
According to live video, Jimenez properly identified himself as a member of the press and was cooperative with authorities as he awaited instructions of where to be relocated before he and the rest of his team were taken into custody.
The First Amendment of the United States Constitution protects the freedom of the press and this arrest clearly violated that principle.
Police, State Patrol and other law enforcement officers should be well aware of the importance of the media whose job it is to document and report on breaking news for the benefit of the general public. We implore the responding parties to alert their officers on the rights of the press and the necessity of their presence as they continue to report on the current unrest.
We thank Governor Tim Walz on his quick efforts to get the CNN members released from custody.