Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) issued the following statement regarding the arrest of CNN reporter Omar Jimenez and his crew this morning in Minneapolis:
“The actions of the Minnesota state police to arrest CNN’s Omar Jimenez, a Black and Latino member of the press, and his crew this morning on live television was shocking and an alarming display of the abuse of police power. Journalists frequently report from the front lines with the understanding that they are allowed to do so as a service to the American public, and indeed that they have a protected right to do so under the First Amendment. The fact that Mr. Jimenez’s white colleague reporting from the same scene was not arrested is certainly ironic and spotlights the nation’s failure to address the hard core of racism that appears to be at the heart of the killing of George Floyd and that stoked the very unrest that Mr. Jimenez was covering.”
Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization. LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF.