CNN‘s Omar Jimenez was handcuffed and arrested while reporting at the site of ongoing protests in Minneapolis early Friday morning. In the footage, shared by CNN, police did not offer a reason as to why the reporter was taken away in handcuffs. Jimenez’s broadcast crew — producer Bill Kirkos, and photojournalist Leonel Mendez — were also handcuffed and taken into police custody.
1. What happened? — Jimenez was on-location in Minneapolis covering the ongoing protests calling for justice in the death of George Floyd, 46. CNN said that Jimenez and team identified themselves as reporters and said they’d comply with where the police wanted them to broadcast. Floyd died after being restrained by officer Derek Chauvin, who was charged with his murder on May 29. Chauvin and the three other police officers involved in the case were fired after a video of Chauvin with his knee on Floyd’s neck went viral.
2. Omar and his colleagues have since been released. — CNN confirmed the release of its employees on Twitter at 7:58 AM on May 29. The tweet included a video of Omar explaining the situation in a live broadcast, in which he called the arresting officers “cordial.” Omar recalled, “As far as the people that were leading me away, there was no animosity there, they weren’t violent with me. We were having a conversation about just how crazy this week has been for every single part of the city,” he said. Omar also inquired about the proper guidelines his broadcast team should follow while reporting on the protests in Minnesota. He said an unnamed officer replied, “Look, I don’t know man, I’m just following orders.” Omar also shared a photo of him reporting at the protests captioned, “I’m back,” on Instagram, following his arrest.
— CNN (@CNN) May 29, 2020
3. His reporting resume is impressive. — His first internship was at NBC News, working out of their Chicago bureau. He covered the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida for the outlet. Jimenez began his on-air career as a multimedia journalist for WGEM- TV in Quincy, IL. He started with CNN in 2017 for the network’s affiliate service, CNN Newsource, based in Washington, D.C., according to his bio on their website. Prior to joining CNN, Jimenez worked for WBAL-TV in Baltimore, Maryland as a reporter and fill-in anchor and received an Emmy nomination for his work.
4. He was born in Worcester, Massachusetts. — But, he but grew up outside of Atlanta. Jimenez earned his bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from the Medill School at Northwestern University, where he also played on the varsity men’s basketball team.
5. Jimenez enjoys esports and music. — His Twitter bio says, “I game a lot,” and he’s publicly expressed his love for rap and hip-hop. Jimenez has even released music on SoundCloud under the name, “OJ Tropicana.” In 2013, he appeared on a “Battle of the Instant Rappers” segment on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon