You can watch officers of the Minnesota State Police arrest CNN correspondent Omar Jimenez and members of his camera crew with little warning and even less explanation, as he is broadcasting live, here.
Those cops at that intersection can’t do much about the buildings burning around them or the rioters, but boy, they sure can catch those CNN correspondents!
The Minnesota State Police declared via Twitter, “In the course of clearing the streets and restoring order at Lake Street and Snelling Avenue, four people were arrested by State Patrol troopers, including three members of a CNN crew. The three were released once they were confirmed to be members of the media.”
Sure, fellas. There was just no way to confirm that at that moment on the scene that the camera crew and correspondent broadcasting live on CNN at the time was an actual CNN camera crew and correspondent. If only there was some sort of device that everyone carried around that could have easily verified that these were indeed reporters covering the ongoing rioting.
Surely, the cops needed to determine whether these three were some sort of ingenious criminal masterminds who just happened to own a lot of professional-grade television cameras and remote relay equipment, who dressed like a CNN crew, and stood in front of the camera offering updates on the rioting, all as an elaborate cover for their nefarious misdeeds. Perhaps the police on the scene suspected they were part of Ocean’s Eleven, committing a heist with extravagant disguises in another intricate scheme.
Or maybe some of the cops there are just used to doing whatever they want, wherever they want, without regard for infringing upon the rights of law-abiding citizens.
The fact that large numbers of the Minnesota State Police could not grasp the consequences of arresting a correspondent who appeared to be broadcasting live, and that their management subsequently offered such a lame and implausible excuse, suggests that there are deep-rooted problems with professionalism in those institutions.