Northwestern University voices support for alumnus arrested during live report on Minneapolis unrest

EVANSTON, Ill. (WLS) -- Northwestern University officials are speaking out after an alumnus was arrested in Minneapolis Friday while reporting live on CNN.

Minnesota State Patrol handcuffed correspondent Omar Jimenez during a live broadcast on the unrest over the killing of a black man, George Floyd, in police custody. State police led Jimenez and his crew away with no explanation.

VIDEO: CNN reporter arrested on live TV after George Floyd protests in Minneapolis

The cable news network said Jimenez, a black man, was arrested while a white reporter on the ground was not. In a tweet, CNN Communications said that the crew identified themselves and called the situation a "clear violation of their First Amendment rights."

The crew was quickly released, but Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism Dean Charles Whitaker called what happened "disturbing."

"These sorts of infringements on freedom of the press affect us all because if reporters can't do their jobs, then we won't be informed about what's going on, so we shouldn't take this kind of thing lightly," Whitaker said.

Read Whitaker's full statement on the arrest here.

RELATED: Chicagoans march in solidarity with protests in Minneapolis

Jimenez is also a former Northwestern University basketball player.

The team tweeted Friday that they're proud of him, thanking him for his commitment to keep the public informed.

Minnesota's governor has apologized for the arrests.
"We want the media there to cover this. It is never acceptable for this to happen. The governor accepts full responsibility," Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said.

RELATED: Derek Chauvin, police officer accused in George Floyd's death, charged with 3rd-degree murder

The police officer who was seen on video kneeling on the neck of George Floyd,who died in custody after pleading that he could not breathe, was arrested Friday and charged with murder. Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said Derek Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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