Australian Reporters attacked by U.S. Police after identifying themselves as the media while reporting on White House protesting
Two Channel 7 reporters were live on Sunrise reporting outside the White House on the current protests triggered by the killing of George Floyd, when they were attacked by United States Police officers and the National Guard.
The reporters, Amelia Brace and Tim Myers identified themselves attempted to identify themselves as the media before they were attacked by Police and Guard.
Brace was clubbed with a truncheon and Myers hit with a riot shield which was all captured live. Further footage released shows a third officer attempting to hold back his colleagues and let the journalists go, without the third officer it is unclear how far the attack would have gone.
Brace and Myers have confirmed they are okay just bruised after both being shot with rubber bullets subsequent to teargas was fired at the crowd and their attack.
Brace when later describing the incident stated:
“I actually managed to get a rubber bullet to the backside and Tim got one in the back of the neck so we’ll have a few bruises tomorrow but we’re perfectly safe.”
She went on to say:
“There was really no escape at that moment”…”We had the National Guard behind us and those police coming through so quickly, there was nowhere for us to go, so there was really no choice but to hide in that corner hoping they would pass by.”
The Australian embassy in Washington DC has reached out to the US State Department after the incident. The Australian Ambassador to the United States stated he was “aware of the treatment” inflicted on Brace and Myers.
The US Embassy has since released a statement:
“Freedom of the press is a right Australians and Americans hold dear. We take mistreatment of journalists seriously, as do all who take democracy seriously”.
The United States Freedom Tracker has claimed to have verified and documented more than 100 incidents involving journalists during the current protesting. Including, 20 arrests, 60 assaults with both physical and with ranged weapons, 13 reports of damaged equipment, 9 reports of assaults with damage, 25 others including tear gassing and building damage.
As the protests continue throughout the United States it appears to police and Guard have been the most constant source of danger through the protests, not the protesters themselves.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has released a statement describing the attack as troubling and has requested a formal investigation. Prime Minister Morrison has since spoken directly to Channel 7 to check on the crew’s welfare and offer the government’s support in pursuing a formal complaint through the Australian embassy.
It is understood that Channel 7 will make a formal complaint.
Further, the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance has written to the US ambassador in Canberra to protest the attacks on journalists covering the civil unrest.