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The On-Air Arrest of CNN’s Omar Jimenez Shows Racism & Censorship in Real Time

Early Friday morning, Omar Jimenez, a Black Latino reporter with CNN, was arrested in Minneapolis while broadcasting live on the city’s ongoing protests. In the broadcast, you can see Jimenez telling police that he and his team would move to wherever they wanted him to and you can see him clearly presenting his press ID.

So when the Minnesota State Patrol wrote on Twitter that the team was released from custody after they were confirmed as being members of the press, it only raised more questions than they answered.

Minnesota’s governor, Tim Waltz, called the arrest “unacceptable,” but also called it “inadvertent.” I don’t know, this looks pretty deliberate to me:

CNN has another journalist on the ground in Minneapolis right now, not far from where Jimenez and his team were. Josh Campbell, who is white, has described how different his experience has been. He says “treated much differently” by law enforcement, telling his colleague John Berman:

I was treated much differently than [CNN correspondent Omar Jimenez] was. I’m sitting here talking to the National Guard, talking to the police. They’re asking politely to move here and there. A couple times I’ve moved closer than they would like. They asked politely to move back. They didn’t pull out the handcuffs. Lot different here than what Omar experienced.

Since Jimenez’s arrest, Derek Chauvin, the police officer who can be seen on video killing George Floyd (or rather, one of them) has been arrested and charged with manslaughter and third-degree murder. At the time, though, four days after Floyd’s murder, the discrepancy was glaring.

As for Jimenez, he’s back out reporting.

Also, I just noticed on Twitter today that Jimenez has an album out, you know, if you’re looking for ways to support him.

And while we’re on the subject of supporting things, this is a great list of resources.

I’m especially awed by all the support for Floyd’s memorial fund. The last time I looked at it it had raised about $60K. It’s now over $2 million. And with that coming from about 100,000 donors, it really shows the power of what $5 or $10 or $20 can do.

(via CNN, image: CNN)

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Vivian Kane (she/her) has a lot of opinions about a lot of things. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri with her husband Brock Wilbur and too many cats.