SPJ Georgia Supports CNN After On-Air Arrest

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Contact:

Charlotte Norsworthy, SPJ Georgia President, charlottefnorsworthy@gmail.com

KC Wildmoon, SPJ Georgia Secretary, kwildmoon@gmail.com

ATLANTA — The Georgia Pro chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists stands with our national organization and the Minnesota chapter in demanding answers from the Minnesota State Patrol regarding the arrest this morning of CNN crew covering the protests over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died on May 25 after a Minneapolis police officer pinned him to the street with his knee on Floyd’s neck.

Correspondent Omar Jimenez, producer Bill Kirkos, and photojournalist Leonel Mendez were doing their jobs, and their quick release after Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz intervened does not diminish the need for the state patrol to explain the actions of their officers, seen on live television.

These journalists were wrongfully arrested. As SPJ national president Patricia Gallagher Newberry said, “We’re relieved that Jimenez and his colleagues were released quickly. But the fact is they were working ethically — and in harm’s way — to bring important news to the public. This unwarranted arrest is inexcusable.”

We remain concerned that a rising tide of such arrests and physical and verbal assaults on reporters threaten a key tenet of our democracy: the public’s right to know.

SPJ GA promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. Become a member.

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