Things That Matter

Afro-Latino CNN Reporter Omar Jimenez Arrested Live on TV While Reporting In Minneapolis

Minneapolis has been rocked by civil unrest following the death of George Floyd. A viral video shows a police officer kneeling on Floyd’s neck while Floyd begged for help. During the unrest, a CNN journalist was arrested on live TV and people were stunned.

Here is the moment that CNN reporter Omar Jimenez was arrested by Minnesota State Police.

The arrest stunned audience members who watched the Minnesota State Police approach Jimenez during a live shot and arrest him. The crew identified themselves as members of the media and said they’d be willing to relocate. Jimenez asked why he was being arrested and the police officers did not provide a reason.

Nearby Jimenez, CNN reporter Josh Campbell was reporting and was not arrested.

The move has sparked outrage as racial tensions in the state are high after George Floyd’s death. Minnesotans are calling for justice after four police officers attempted to arrest Floyd leading to his death. Jimenez’s arrest sparked some anger as people considered the arrest racially motivated during the protests.

“We can move back to where you’d like. We can move back to where you’d like here. We are live on the air at the moment,” Jimenez told the officers. “We’re getting out of your way. So, just let us know. Wherever you’d want us, we will go. We were just getting out of your way when you were advancing through the intersection. Let us know and we’ve got you.”

The governor of Minnesota apologized for Jimenez’s arrest in a press conference on Friday.

In the same press conference, Minnesota Gov. Tim Waltz, apologized for the arrest of Jimenez and his crew. Gov. Waltz took responsibility for the arrests because they were made by Minnesota State Police. According to Jimenez, after the arrest, the police officers were cordial and that they did not have guidelines for reporters covering the protests. Jimenez says that the officer he spoke with said that he was just following orders.

Twitter users were surprised to see a politician taking responsibility immediately after a situation.

There have been so many instances when politicians do not take accountability for actions that happen within their departments. The police-caused deaths of unarmed Black men, women, and children are usually followed by protests and the exoneration of the police officers involved.

Despite the early morning arrest, Jimenez was back on air to report on the ongoing unrest in Minneapolis.

Minneapolis has been the center of days of civil unrest. People are demanding justice for Floyd and his family. President Trump took time from his feud with Twitter to tweet about the protest using divisive language. His tweet that harkens back to the 1950s saying “when the looting starts the shooting starts” was flagged by Twitter as inciting violence.

Viewers are celebrating Jimenez’s demeanor during the arrest.

The reporter stayed calm and controlled while the police officers arrested him without stating a reason. The arrest was a complete surprise to CNN as the anchors who were speaking with Jimenez went speechless when they realized he was been handcuffed.

The civil unrest continues in Minneapolis as one of the fired police officers was arrested. The protesters and community leaders are calling on the rest of the police officers to be arrested for the death of Floyd.

READ: Former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin Arrested For Death Of George Floyd

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They Were Marching Peacefully To The Polls In Honor Of George Floyd When Police Stopped Them With Pepper Spray

Things That Matter

They Were Marching Peacefully To The Polls In Honor Of George Floyd When Police Stopped Them With Pepper Spray

Logan Cyrus / Getty Images

We’re less than 24 hours away from one of the most consequential elections ever. It’s so important that we all get out and vote and that’s exactly what one community in North Carolina was trying to do over the weekend when police intervened with pepper spray, preventing many from exercising their right to vote.

The march was a ‘get out the vote’ march in honor of George Floyd and other Black Americans killed by police. When they were stopped to observe a moment of silence in honor of George Floyd, police moved in and dispersed the crowd with pepper spray – including the elderly, children, and journalists.

Many are calling the police interference an obvious form of voter suppression or intimidation. Unfortunately, it isn’t the only similar story from the past few weeks.

Protesters were marching to the polls in honor of Black Americans killed by police when they were attacked.

On the final day of early voting in North Carolina, police in Alamance County pepper-sprayed a group of voters who were marching to the polls, leaving demonstrators injured and vomiting in the streets.

About 250 people—most of them Black—were taking part in an event called I Am Change Legacy March to the Polls and on their final stop before visiting a polling place in downtown Graham when cops intervened. Law enforcement officers used pepper spray to break up the crowd, a decision that has drawn criticism from the state’s governor and civil rights groups.

According to the Graham Police Department, law enforcement pepper sprayed the ground to disperse the crowd in at least two instances — first, after marchers did not move out of the road following a moment of silence, and again after an officer was “assaulted” and the event deemed “unsafe and unlawful.”

But the event’s organizers and other attendees have said they did nothing to warrant the response, and that they wanted to exercise their First Amendment rights and march to the polls.

“I and our organization, marchers, demonstrators and potential voters left here sunken, sad, traumatized, obstructed and distracted from our intention to lead people all the way to the polls,” said the march organizer, the Rev. Gregory Drumwright, in a news conference Sunday. “Let me tell you something: We were beaten, but we will not be broken,” he added.

The march to the polls was organized in response to the police killings of unarmed Black Americans.

The “I Am Change” march was branded as a “march to the polls” in honor of Black people whose deaths have fueled protests over racial injustice, including George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Trayvon Martin, among others, according to a flyer for the event.

The rally started at the Wayman’s Chapel AME Church and included a stop at the Confederate Monument in Court Square before they were set to continue to a nearby polling place. While stopped for a moment of silence at Court Square in honor of George Floyd, police ordered them to clear the streets.

“Once it was clear that they had no intention to clear the road,” police deployed the pepper spray at the ground, and the crowd then moved to the proper designated area, according to officers.

Many are calling the brazen tactics an explicit form of voter suppression.

Scott Huffman, a North Carolina Democratic congressional candidate who attended the march, said in a video shared on Twitter that demonstrators were exercising their First Amendment rights and that the organizers had obtained proper permits. 

According to marchers, some officers were allowing the protesters to march, but others weren’t, an obvious sign of the breakdown in communication between departments. 

The incident was criticized by a number of officials and civil rights groups, including the Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights, the NAACP and the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina, whose executive director likened it to “voter intimidation.”

“We need to find a way to close the book on voter suppression and police violence if we are to start a new chapter in our story that recognizes the importance of protecting everyone’s right to vote,” said ACLU of North Carolina executive director Chantal Stevens.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper shared the Raleigh News & Observer’s article about the march on Twitter and called the incident “unacceptable.”

“Peaceful demonstrators should be able to have their voices heard and voter intimidation in any form cannot be tolerated,” the governor said

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17-Year-Old Teen Who Filmed George Floyd’s Murder is Receiving an Award for Her Bravery

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17-Year-Old Teen Who Filmed George Floyd’s Murder is Receiving an Award for Her Bravery

Photos: PEN America handout photo via Darnella Frazier; Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Darnella Frazier, the 17-year-old bystander who recorded the death of George Floyd on her cell phone, is receiving an award for her bravery.

The award, called the PEN/Benenson Courage Award, is given to someone who exhibits exceptional bravery under the hardest of circumstances. Previous recipients include Anita Hill and the student activists from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Photo: PEN America handout photo via Darnella Frazier

PEN America’s CEO Suzanne Nossel explained their decision to choose Frazier in a statement: “With nothing more than a cell phone and sheer guts, Darnella changed the course of history in this country, sparking a bold movement demanding an end to systemic anti-Black racism and violence at the hands of police.”

“With remarkable steadiness, Darnella carried out the expressive act of bearing witness, and allowing hundreds of millions around the world to see what she saw,” she continued. “Without Darnella’s presence of mind and readiness to risk her own safety and wellbeing, we may never have known the truth about George Floyd’s murder. We are proud to recognize her exceptional courage with this award.”

While millions of people have seen the horrifying video in which George Floyd was slowly killed by a police officer kneeling on his neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, not everyone knows who the person behind the camera was.

Frazier is an average 17-year-old high school student who enjoys playing volleyball and basketball. She loves fashion, singing, and debate. She was walking her cousin to the store when she saw the terrible scene in front of her that would eventually end up changing the world.

“I was the one that was recording the whole thing,” Frazier later said through tears in a NowThis video after re-visiting the scene the day after Floyd’s death. “I’ve seen him die. I posted the video last night, and it just went viral. And everybody’s asking me how I feel. I don’t know how to feel ’cause it’s so sad, bro. They killed this man and I was right there. I was five feet away. It’s so traumatizing.”

Frazier later faced intense criticism on the internet for not intervening when she saw Floyd being killed. At the height of the backlash, Frazier was forced to take to her Facebook page to defend herself.

“I don’t expect anyone who wasn’t placed in my position to understand why and how I feel the way that I do !! MIND YOU I am a minor ! 17 years old, of course I’m not about to fight off a cop I’m SCARED wtf,” she wrote. “The police most definitely would’ve swept it under the rug with a cover up story….That could’ve been one of your loved ones and you would want to see the truth as well.”

“Darnella Frazier took an enormous amount of flak in the wake of releasing the video,” Nossel recently told The Associated Press. “People were accusing her of being in it for the money, or for being famous, or were asking why she didn’t intervene…We wanted to go back and recognize and elevate this singular act.”

Through a family representative, Frazier said she was “humbled” and “grateful” to receive the award.

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