2 June 2020.
The Australian embassy in Washington, DC will investigate an apparent assault by the US police against two Aussie journalists. The pair were roughed up live on air while covering a protest outside the White House.
A crew working for the outlet 7News was targeted on Tuesday while reporting from a demonstration in the US capital against police brutality. Correspondent Amelia Brace and cameraman Tim Myers were battered as the police cleared a protesting crowd, footage of the incident showed. Brace was hit with a baton, while Myers was attacked with a riot shield
“We’ll have a few bruises tomorrow”
7NEWS US Correspondent @AmeliaBrace confirms her and cameraman Tim Myers are OK after police violently moved them on in Washington D.C.
“We have asked the Australian embassy in Washington, DC to investigate this incident,” Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne said on Tuesday, as Prime Minister Scott Morrison demanded an investigation into the alleged assault. “I want to get further advice on how we would go about registering Australia’s strong concerns with the responsible local authorities in Washington,” she added.
Craig McPherson, Seven Network’s Director of News and Public Affairs, in turn, said, it was “nothing short of wanton thuggery.“
“They weren’t in anyone’s way – just doing their job,” McPherson said, adding that the company will file its own complaints against the police’s behavior, calling the incident “abhorrent.”
Brace, who returned to cover the news after the attack, said the officers’ actions were indiscriminate and they simply didn’t care that he and Myers were members of the media.
What happened to the Australian crew is one of many instances of journalists reporting from protests in the US being caught up in violence and targeted by police officers. Russia has demanded an investigation into an attack by Minneapolis police on a group of reporters, which included a Russian correspondent who was pepper-sprayed.
The US is currently experiencing nationwide protests and rioting over the death of an African American man, George Floyd. He was arrested by Minneapolis police and pinned to the ground, with one officer putting his knee on the man’s neck. An independent autopsy confirmed that Floyd died as a result of being unable to breathe due to their actions.