Omar Jimenez

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Omar Jimenez
Omar Fernando Jimenez

(1993-11-27) November 27, 1993 (age 26)
Alma materNorthwestern University (BA)
Home townKennesaw, Georgia, U.S.

Omar Fernando Jimenez (born November 27, 1993)[1] is an American journalist and correspondent working for CNN.

Early life and education

Jimenez was born in Worcester, Massachusetts and raised in Kennesaw, Georgia.[2] He is Afro-Latino;[3] his mother, Jayne Morgan, is African American,[4] and his father, Omar Jimenez, is Colombian.[5] Jimenez has two brothers.[6] When he was in sixth grade, his parents divorced, and he lived with his mother.[4]

Jimenez attended Kennesaw Mountain High School.[7] While playing high school basketball, Jimenez fractured his back and was unable to play for eight months.[4] He attended the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, where he majored in broadcast journalism.[8] He played on the men's varsity basketball team from 2011 to 2013 at Northwestern after a successful walk-on tryout.[2][5][9] With other journalism and law students, Jimenez worked with the Chicago Innocence Project to investigate wrongful convictions.[10]


Jimenez began his career in journalism as an intern in NBC News' Chicago bureau.[2] For almost four years, Jimenez worked on-air as a multimedia journalist at WGEM-TV in Quincy, Illinois.[10] He was a general assignment reporter and fill-in anchor at WBAL-TV in Baltimore, Maryland.[2][7] Jimenez worked at WBAL from July 2015 to June 2017.[11]

Jimenez has worked at CNN since August 7, 2017,[10] first at CNN Newsource in Washington, D.C. He has reported for over 900 CNN affiliate news stations nationwide covering breaking news.[7] He is now based in Chicago as a CNN correspondent.[12]

George Floyd protest arrest

Early on the morning of May 29, 2020, Jimenez and his three-person news crew were arrested by a group of Minnesota state police officers while reporting live on protests in response to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota.[13] According to Jimenez, he was arrested for failing to move back from the position where they were reporting after being ordered to, despite their media credentials being visible and valid, and their agreeing to move where directed.[14][15]

As he reported live on CNN's New Day program with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman, Jimenez was approached by two officers who ordered the team to move. He immediately agreed, asking where they should move to, but officers walked away. Minutes later, as Jimenez continued to report he, along with producer Bill Kirkos, camera operator Leonel Mendez, and a security guard were approached by a group of officers who surrounded and arrested them as they continued to ask where the state police wanted them to move. They were detained at on-scene, then at a local precinct station before being released about an hour and a half later once police had verified they were media.[16] CNN President Jeff Zucker called Minnesota Governor Tim Walz directly to insist on the crew's release.[17] During their conversation, Walz apologized to Zucker for the incident, calling it "unacceptable."[18]

Awards and honors

At Northwestern, he won various national and regional student awards for reporting, including the National Mark of Excellence Award for student television reporting from the Society of Professional Journalists and a Bronze award from the National College Emmys in the newscast category.[2]

While working at WBAL-TV, Jimenez received an individual Emmy nomination for general assignment reporting.[12]

Personal life

Jimenez began playing music in high school. He enjoys rap and hip-hop, and has released music on SoundCloud under the name OJ Tropicana. His debut EP, Reporting Live, was released in 2017. He worked with producer Daiz and musician Drew Tildon. His artistry is influenced by Childish Gambino.[19] In 2013, he appeared on a "Battle of the Instant Rappers" segment on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.[20]

See also


  1. ^ "Omar Jimenez Player Profile, Northwestern, NCAA Stats, Game Logs, Bests, Awards – RealGM". Retrieved May 29, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d e "News Team – WBAL-TV 11 News". WBAL. Retrieved May 29, 2020.
  3. ^ "Police Arrest Black CNN Reporter Covering Minneapolis Protests: 'You Don't Have to Doubt My Story, You Saw It For Your Own Eyes'". The Root. Retrieved May 29, 2020.
  4. ^ a b c Johnson, Chris (April 22, 2013). "Northwestern's Omar Jimenez Is Motivated". Inside Northwestern University. Retrieved May 29, 2020.
  5. ^ a b Macaya, Melissa; Hayes, Mike; Alfonso III, Fernando; Diaz, Daniella; Yeung, Jessie; George, Steve; Kottasová, Ivana; Thompson, Nick (May 29, 2020). "Learn more about Omar Jimenez, the CNN reporter arrested during the protests in Minneapolis". CNN. Retrieved May 29, 2020.
  6. ^ "Andrew Jimenez". Golden Tiger Sports. Retrieved May 29, 2020.
  7. ^ a b c Dreier, Natalie (May 29, 2020). "Who is Omar Jimenez, the CNN reporter arrested during Minneapolis violent protests?". KOKI. Retrieved May 29, 2020.
  8. ^ Tyler, Emma (September 26, 2012). "Omar Jimenez '15". Her Campus. Retrieved May 29, 2020.
  9. ^ "Northwestern basketball tweets support for alum Omar Jimenez, CNN reporter who was arrested". For The Win. May 2, 2020. Retrieved May 29, 2020.
  10. ^ a b c Villafañe, Veronica (August 3, 2017). "CNN Newsource hires Jimenez as DC correspondent". Media Moves. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  11. ^ Fulginiti, Jenny (May 29, 2020). "CNN's Omar Jimenez, former WBALTV reporter, arrested on live TV by Minnesota police". WBAL-TV. Retrieved May 29, 2020.
  12. ^ a b "CNN Profiles: Omar Jimenez". CNN. Retrieved May 29, 2020.
  13. ^ Santora, Marc (May 2, 2020). "CNN Crew Is Arrested on Live Television While Covering Minneapolis Protests". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved May 29, 2020.
  14. ^ Farhi, Paul (May 29, 2020). "'Never seen anything like this': A CNN journalist's arrest on live television shocks nation and inflames racial wounds". The Washington Post.
  15. ^ "CNN reporting crew arrested on camera by police in Minneapolis". Retrieved May 31, 2020.
  16. ^ Hanna, Jason (May 29, 2020). "CNN crew released from police custody after they were arrested live on air in Minneapolis". CNN. Retrieved May 29, 2020.
  17. ^ Nelson, Louis. "'That is unacceptable': Minnesota governor apologizes for arrest of CNN news crew". POLITICO. Retrieved May 31, 2020.
  18. ^ Concha, Joe (May 2, 2020). "Minnesota Governor Deeply Apologizes to CNN President". The Hill. Retrieved May 29, 2020.
  19. ^ Giordano, J. M. "Baltimore TV reporter Omar Jimenez drops first rap EP, "Reporting Live"". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  20. ^ "OJ Tropicana Drops the Juice on Fallon". Northwestern. 2013. Retrieved May 29, 2020.

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