Australian journalists assaulted by police outside White House during George Floyd protests

2 June 2020, 11:26

By Kate Buck

The Australian Prime Minister has called for an inquiry after two Australian journalists were assaulted by police live on morning TV.

Channel 7 News US correspondent Amelia Brace and cameraman Tim Myers were reporting from Washington DC on morning programme Sunrise, where huge protests have broken out over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after a white officer knelt on his neck.

They were present when officers tried to push the peaceful protesters back from their line using tear gas and rubber bullets.

It later transpired this had been carried out so that Donald Trump could hold a photo opportunity at a nearby Church.

In the footage, Mr Myers was shoved back with a shield, before another officer swings at them with a baton.

A third officer then steps in to hold his colleagues back as the media crew try to get away.

Cameraman Tim Myers was attacked as he did his job
Cameraman Tim Myers was attacked as he did his job. Picture: PA

Ms Brace was then hit with a baton as she fled, and both she and Mr Myers were hit with rubber bullets.

Australian PM Scott Morrison has told the crew they would have his full support should they wish to pursue a complaint, and has instructed his nation's embassy in the US to investigate.

Speaking on Sunrise a short time later, Ms Brace said she and her colleague were "a little sore" from the bullets and tear gas.

She added: "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."

Protests have erupted around the country, but in Washington, Ms Brace said police are proving to be "the most constant source of danger".

Protesters were tear gassed so Donald Trump could take a picture at a nearby church
Protesters were tear gassed so Donald Trump could take a picture at a nearby church. Picture: PA
Protesters are now being routinely targeted
Protesters are now being routinely targeted. Picture: PA

This attack is the latest of a number of assaults on journalists by police, including a black reporter in Minneapolis being arrested live on air, despite showing officers his credentials.

CNN broadcast correspondent Omar Jimenez and his crew were put in handcuffs, despite cooperating with police about where they needed to be.

They were later released with no charge, and received an apology from Minnesota's Governor.

British press photographer Adam Gray has also been arrested and charged with unlawful assembly in New York, despite showing police his press credentials.

At least two other journalists have lost one of their eyes after being hit in the face by rubber bullets.