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Minnesota Governor Tim Walz Calls On-Air Arrest of CNN Journalist ‘Inexcusable’

Omar Jimenez and his field production crew were arrested Friday morning while covering the protests in Minneapolis

Minnesota governor Tim Walz called the arrest of a CNN journalist and field production crew “inexcusable” Friday morning, hours after Omar Jimenez and his colleagues were arrested and released while covering protests in Minneapolis.

“This one is on me and I will own it,” Walz said. “Earlier this morning when this mission was carried out under my direction to re-secure the third precinct … a CNN reporter was — crew — was arrested by the state patrol. A few minutes after hearing that, I was on a call with CNN president Jeff Zucker who demanded to know what happened. I take full responsibility. There is absolutely no reason something like this should happen. Calls were made immediately. This is a very public apology to that team. It should not happen.”

He went on, “I have spent my time as governor highlighting the need to be as transparent as possible and have the press here. I failed you last night in that.”

Walz called the incident “inexcusable” and pivoted back to the root cause of the protests, the death of a black man named George Floyd at the hands of a white police officer. The officer and three colleagues were fired but have not yet faced charges. Thursday night was the third night of unrest in the city as a result.

President Donald Trump and his re-election campaign criticized local leadership in Minneapolis throughout Friday morning, at one point highlighting Jimenez’s arrest as an example of the “catastrophic display of failed leadership.”

Other tweets from Trump and the White House on the subject of the Minneapolis protests included vows to send the military to Minnesota and the phrase, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” The tweets were subsequently assigned a content warning from Twitter for glorifying violence on the platform.

Watch the governor’s remarks below, via CBS News, which put out its own statement in support of Jimenez and CNN earlier in the day.