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  • 7NEWS crew assaulted during coverage of riots in Washington D.C., U.S., June 1, 2020.

    7NEWS crew assaulted during coverage of riots in Washington D.C., U.S., June 1, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/ @7NewsSydney ABC7

Published 2 June 2020
Opinion

A reporter and cameraman were attacked while covering protests against police brutality in Washington D.C.

Australia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne Tuesday confirmed that her country will investigate the police assault against two Australian journalists who were covering the George Floyd protests in Washington D.C.

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"Our embassy in the United States will approach the relevant authorities, and Channel Seven will also provide us with their views on how they wish to deal with it," Payne explained.

On Monday, journalist Amelia Brace and cameraman Tim Myers were broadcasting the protests live when they were assaulted by the police officers who were trying to evict people from the area near the White House.

The Aussie minister noted that the incident is a "very serious matter" and that it caused serious concern.

"We always support the right of people to peaceful protests," Payne said, adding that "we encourage all involved on both sides to exercise constraint and avoid violence."

"U.S.: This happens outside the White House. Look at the shocking moment. The Australian 7News press team, reporter Amelia Brace and a cameraman, were beaten by police live after chaos erupted in Washington DC."

On Monday, the International Press Institute (IPI) noted that journalists have increasingly been the target of dozens of highly disturbing acts by U.S. police, including arrests, violent threats and the targeted use of rubber bullets and tear gas, despite clearly identifying themselves as members of the press.

“The escalating violence and detention of journalists in the U.S. covering the George Floyd protests and related unrest is hugely disturbing and an alarming departure from basic norms around the press’s right to cover issues of public concern,” IPI Deputy Director Scott Griffen said.

The IPI also recalled that photojournalist Linda Tirado was left blind after being hit by a rubber bullet in Minneapolis on May 29; reporter Kaitlin Rust and her camera crew were fired upon with rubber bullets in Louisville; and journalists or camera crews from CBS News, Reuters and MSNBC have been targeted with rubber bullets in Minneapolis.

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