Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz held a press briefing on the ongoing unrest in his state later Friday. Amid an update on how he would deal with the protests as well as the investigation into Floyd’s death, Walz took a moment to address the arrest of Jimenez and his crew. This talk summarised exactly the actions which a real leader would take when faced with a challenge, in this case a crisis.
Here’s what he said:
“I also want to address an issue and this one is on me and I will own it. Earlier this morning when this mission was carried out, under my direction to re-secure the third precinct, to do so in a manner which I am proud of how it was executed by this team, no injuries and no loss of life, a reestablishment to put the fires out for those businesses, a CNN reporter, a 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. And I want to be clear for those of you listening. I think our Minnesota reporters know this. I am a teacher by trade, and 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. And it does not escape me that we are here on the catalyst that lit the spark by what happened with a police detainment of George Floyd, and the idea that a reporter would have been taken while another police action was in play is inexcusable …
” … In a situation like this, even if you’re clearing an area, we have got to ensure that there is a safe spot for journalism to tell the story. The issue here is trust. The community that’s down there that’s terrorized by this, if they see a reporter being arrested, their assumption is something is going to happen that they don’t want to be seen. And so that is unacceptable. We will continue to strive to make sure that accessibility is maintained, that not only that, the protection and security and safety of the journalists covering this is a top priority, not because it’s a nice thing to do, because it is a key component of how we fix this. Sunshine, disinfectant and seeing what’s happening has to be done. So, again, I appreciate President Zucker’s call, I appreciate his understanding in a situation that he was rightfully incredibly angry, and that falls squarely on me. That apology has been issued. And I think going forward to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”