That's exactly what happened to CNN reporter Omar Jimenez right in the middle of covering the Minneapolis riots over George Floyd's killing ... but the cops are now saying, oops.
Jimenez was live on the air, just after 5 AM Central Time, when 2 Minnesota State Police officers in riot gear took the mic out of his hands, placed zip ties around his wrists and took him into custody.
At the time, he was standing on the mostly empty street in front of Minneapolis PD's 3rd Precinct which went up in flames Thursday night. State troopers had just arrived on the scene to clear the area, and you could hear Jimenez clearly identify himself as a CNN reporter ... and he also said he and his crew would move wherever cops needed them to go.
The cops weren't in the mood to talk, clearly, and arrested Jimenez and his crew -- but a couple hours later, they were released.
The Minnesota State Patrol says 3 CNN staffers were arrested because officers were "clearing the streets and restoring order." They say all 3 were released "once they were confirmed to be members of the media."
The irony here is pretty obvious -- a black reporter gets arrested while covering riots sparked by the fact a police officer has NOT been arrested for killing a black man, on camera.
CNN's pissed because Jimenez and his crew identified themselves as media while ON THE AIR, mind you. The network says Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz had to step in to expedite the release of their staffers.