PM demands probe into US cop attack on Aussie TV crew
Australian officials in the US will investigate after a Channel 7 journalist and cameraman were hit by police officers in Washington DC during ongoing unrest.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison reacted to the attack which occurred after President Donald Trump left the White House to visit a church that was set alight.
The Seven Network's News Director Jason Morrison confirmed on Twitter today the Prime Minister contacted the station after seeing the footage which he described as "troubling".
He has also requested the Australian embassy in DC to investigate.
The Prime Minister has asked for an investigation into the attack on @7NewsAustralia reporter & cameraman in Washington DC. He’s contacted 7NEWS, describing the violence towards @AmeliaBrace & Tim Myers from police as “troubling” and asked for it to be followed up. @7NewsSydney pic.twitter.com/MREgxXtiWL— Jason Morrison (@JasonMorrisonAU) June 2, 2020
The Prime Minister has also asked for advice on registering Australia's strong concerns about the incident with the responsible local authorities in Washington.
Seven News reporter Amelia Brace and her cameraman Tim Myers were in a large crowd that was cleared with tear gas, rubber bullets and police with riot shields, in the period leading up to Mr Trump's speech.
Brace was in the middle of a live-cross with the network's breakfast program Sunrise when she detailed the chaos when the pair were assaulted again.
"We've been fired at with rubber bullets, my cameraman has been hit, we've also seen tear gas being used," Brace said.
At this point the crowd started moving as they were pushed back again and a black clad-officer punched his fist into the camera Myers was holding.
Afterwards, Brace appeared back on camera where she said: "You heard us yelling there that we were media but they don't care.
"They are being indiscriminate at the moment.
"They do not care who they are targeting at the moment."
Another officer then directed them away from the area while they were sitting and standing against a wall.
In moving them on, the police appeared to strike Brace in the back with their baton.
"We were trying to move on, the last thing we ever want is to get in the way, but there was just no opportunity," she said.
"There was no escape at that moment. The police were coming through so quickly that there was nowhere for us to go.
"There was no choice but for us to hide in that corner and hope they would pass by.
"As you saw in those pictures, they did not."
When Sunrise co-hosts Samantha Armytage and David Koch asked how she was in a later live-cross, she said: "We're not too bad, it's actually the tear gas that gets you.
"As I tried to continue speaking to you (during the earlier live cross), I could barely breathe and it's really hard to continue speaking during that.
"I also got a rubber bullet to the backside, and Tim got one at the back of the neck - we'll have a few bruises tomorrow."
Trump spent only a few minutes outside the church after walking through Lafayette Park, which has been overrun with protesters for the past three days.
Surrounded by heavy security, and accompanied by members of his cabinet and family, Mr Trump strode through the area that had moments been cleared of protesters to examine the damage to the boarded-up church.
"We have a great country," he said, holding a bible and smiling for a photo with his inner circle.
Mr Morrison spoke with Mr Trump earlier today, before learning of the incident involving the Australian media.
On that call Mr Trump invited Australia to join this year's postponed G7 summit and Mr Morrison accepted.
The leaders also discussed the mass protests and civil unrest across the US, agreeing efforts should be taken to resolve the distressing situation peacefully.
Originally published as PM demands probe into US cop attack on Aussie TV crew