Australia Wants Investigation After Its Journalists Assaulted

Police seen punching cameraman, hitting reporter with baton near White House
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 2, 2020 9:05 AM CDT

(Newser) – Bellingcat senior investigator Nick Waters documented 100 cases of police attacks on journalists in four days of protests before describing the 101st case as coming outside the White House on Monday. Two Australian journalists, 7News correspondent Amelia Brace and cameraman Tim Myers, were reporting live around 6:25pm local time when police in riot gear moved to clear protesters from an area. Brace says the pair were forced into a corner as they were met with police and members of the National Guard. "As I ran away, clearly stating that we were media, with my cameraman with a camera on his shoulders, I was hit across the back with the baton," she tells ABC Australia. Brace notes the pair were also hit with tear gas and rubber bullets fired by members of the National Guard—"the exact people I had shown my media pass to."

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Footage shows an officer shoving Myers with a shield, then punching him in the face, per 7News. Another officer swings a baton. It was "absolutely terrifying," Brace says, per ABC. "There is such a heightened level of fear here that it just takes someone to reach for their pocket … or to do anything out of the ordinary, to speak in the wrong tone of voice and you don't know what the reaction will be and there seem to be no consequences for that." Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has ordered Australia's embassy in Washington to investigate the assault, which Federal Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese stated was "completely unacceptable," per 9News. This is a "very serious matter" and "obviously a very troubling period in the United States," says Foreign Minister Marise Payne, noting embassy officials will register their concerns with the proper authorities. (Read more journalists stories.)

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