Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison is demanding an investigation into an alleged police attack on an Australian news crew outside of the White House during coverage of the protests in response to the death of George Floyd.
“Network Seven cameraman Tim Myers was hit with a riot shield and punched in the face, while reporter Amelia Brace was clubbed with a truncheon. Both were shot with rubber bullets and struggled to breathe after tear gas was thrown at the crowd,” reported The Canberra Times.
The incident was caught on camera and went viral on Twitter.
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— Matt Bevan (@MatthewBevan) June 2, 2020
Morrison has spoken with Network Seven and has offered his full support should the news outlet file a formal complaint with the Washington, D.C. police department. He’s called on the Australian embassy to investigate the incident.
Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese also condemned the attack and urged the Australian ambassador to the United States to make representations on the reporting team’s behalf.
“In a democratic society the role of the media is critical, and it’s important the media are able to report on events, including crises such as we’re seeing in the United States, free from harassment,” he said. “The violence that has occurred towards members of the media is completely unacceptable.”
The Australian embassy takes “mistreatment of journalists seriously, as do all who take democracy seriously,” U.S. Ambassador to Australia Arthur B. Culvahouse Jr. said in a statement. “As Secretary Pompeo has stated, ‘At all levels, the Department of State works tirelessly to advance press freedom, and we honor those who have dedicated and even sacrificed their lives to sustaining democracy through journalism. We remain steadfast in our commitment to protecting journalists and guaranteeing equal justice under law for all.”
A statement from Ambassador Arthur B. Culvahouse Jr. pic.twitter.com/EW5aPaptjE
— U.S. Embassy Australia (@USEmbAustralia) June 2, 2020
Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.