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Jimenez led a panel discussion with Supt. David Brown about gun violence — before he was arrested in Minneapolis Friday morning.
CHICAGO — CNN journalist Omar Jimenez was interviewing Chicago’s police superintendent and other high-profile officials just hours before being arrested on air Friday.
Jimenez, who normally works out of Chicago, has gained widespread attention after he was arrested by state police in Minneapolis early Friday while covering protests there over the killing of George Floyd.
Jimenez’s cameraman recorded the arrest and broadcast it live on CNN. The video shows Jimenez calmly speaking with officers and offering to move filming to a new location. The officers then arrest him and lead him away.
A CNN producer and the cameraman were then arrested, as well. All three were later released.
— CNN (@CNN) May 29, 2020
Just hours before, on Thursday night, Jimenez moderated a 100 Black Men online panel discussion between Chicago Police Supt. David Brown, Sen. Dick Durbin, Dr. Michael McGee and Dr. Brian Williams.
The panel focused on gun violence and its effects upon young people in Chicago.
“A lot to watch on this moving forward and I was glad to be able to help with the conversation,” Jimenez tweeted after the panel ended.
Glad you could listen! A lot to watch on this moving forward and I was glad to be able to help with the conversation. Thank you to @SenatorDurbin, @ChiefDavidBrown, @BHWilliamsMD, @100BMC, Dr. McGee, and Chicago Police Commander Patty Casey for making this happen. #COVID19 https://t.co/lMzc7sFCTq
— Omar Jimenez (@OmarJimenez) May 29, 2020
Jimenez is an alumnus of Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism and once interned for NBC in Chicago. He also worked at WGEM in downstate Quincy.
Jimenez has worked with CNN since 2017.
Charles Whitaker, Medill’s dean, wrote in an email to students and faculty Friday that he was appalled Jimenez was arrested “for the sin of doing journalism.”
“I could not help but wonder whether his brown skin marked him for this indignity, and I thought of my own adult sons and the threat they face in a society that still too often demonizes African-American men,” Whitaker wrote.
“Recent events – not the least of which are the disproportionately devastating effects of COVID-19 on communities of color – have once again placed our nation’s racial divide in stark relief. I am grateful for the work of intrepid reporters like Omar Jimenez who are on our streets giving face and voice to struggles and wrongdoings. And I fiercely decry any efforts to hinder these brave journalists – regardless of their race or ethnicity – from telling these vital stories.”