Tim Walz has apologized for the "totally unacceptable" arrest of a CNN journalist and his crew who were covering protests over the death of George Floyd. Viewers and CNN swiftly condemned the arrests, with Minnesota state Senator Kari Dziedzic tweeting: "Why are you arresting @CNN reporters". "We have a white reporter on the ground, and we have a brown reporter on the ground".
The scene has left many reiterating the injustices of racially biased law enforcement in the USA (as if they needed another reason).
The team was arrested during a live broadcast on Friday while covering the protests in Minneapolis. The camera operator left the equipment rolling.
Jimenez added; "As far as the people that were leading me away, there was no animosity there, they weren't violent with me".More news: George Floyd killing: Police vehicles ram into protesters in NY
The US constitution's first amendment protects freedom of the press and blatant obstructions of journalists' rights are uncommon.
As Jimenez calmly explains to police why he and his team were in the area after being asked to clear the area, he is handcuffed and taken into custody, while his producer, Bill Kirkos, and cameraman, Leonel Mendez, faced the same fate.
After his release, Jimenez said that he and the crew were doing fine. The three were later released without charge, reports the BBC. He expressed shock that the police arrested Jimenez and his crew after they identified themselves and informed the officers that they were reporting live. "We thank Minnesota @GovTimWalz for his swift action this morning to aid in the release of our crew".
CNN correspondent Omar Jimenez and two colleagues were released within an hour after network chief executive Jeff Zucker called Walz to demand answers about why they were led away and held in a police van.More news: Chiara de Blasio, Bill de Blasio daughter, arrested in George Floyd protest
"These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won't let that happen", Trump said in the tweet. "I was treated much differently than (Jimenez) was". Racial tensions are fueling both figurative and literal fires across Minneapolis.
In videos recorded by passers-by, Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, is seen holding Floyd down with a knee on his neck although the victim repeatedly pleaded, "I can't breathe", and "please, I can't breathe".
Protests have erupted across the U.S. against Floyd's death.
Peaceful demonstrations eventually deteriorated into looting and vandalism, with several buildings in the city being set ablaze.More news: Dragon docks at International Space Station 19 hours after NASA-SpaceX launch