Police strike Sunrise crew in Washington, DC.

Tense scenes in Washington DC today saw Sunrise reporter Amelia Brace and cameraman Tim Myers hit with a truncheon and shield, unfolding Live on air.

In a separate scene police charged at them, knocking Tim Myers to the ground, ahead of a speech by Donald Trump outside St. John’s Church which was attacked by protesters the night before. Protesters were cleared from the area, during which the Seven News team was struck.

Brace said they became trapped when crowds were suddenly pushed back ahead of Trump’s arrival.

“We’re not too bad, it’s actually the tear gas that gets you,” Brace told Sunrise. “As I tried to continue speaking to you, 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 – so we’ll have a few bruises tomorrow.”

She also expressed her gratitude to her colleague, who was struck when he shielded her from police.

“I’m very grateful for him, he’s a very experienced cameraman and has worked in war zones, so I felt very comfortable with him leading me out there, and he did a wonderful job.”

Numerous reports of journalists being attacked by police and arrested have been documented as protests rage across the US.

Updated: Prime Minister Scott Morrison has asked the Australian embassy in Washington to investigate the attack and requested advice on how to register Australia’s “strong concerns” with local authorities in Washington. Shortly after the attack on the crew, President Trump rang Mr Morrison to personally offer Australia a seat at the G7 table.

According to senior government sources, Mr Morrison was unaware of the assault on the Channel 7 crew at the time of his call with the US president. After becoming aware of the footage the Prime Minister contacted Channel 7 to check on the crew’s welfare and assure them of the government’s support should they wish to pursue a formal complaint with the local police.

Source: news.com.au, The Age

6 Comments:

  1. Stephen McDonell has been urging journalists to wear full protective face masks after he was shot in the face with a projectile while covering the protests in Hong Kong for the BBC

  2. themanfromoz

    Just a couple of thoughts.
    There were two assaults on the reporter and cameraman.
    First one there was probably no way they policeman knew it he was media – only saw someone sitting on a box behind the leading edge of the wall. You can then see 5-6 police actually hold back and motion them to move away.
    The second was a deliberate baton strike to the back of Amelia by one of the policemen as they were moving away as instructed.
    Remember this was all so that Trump could get a photo op a short time later. Totally staged.
    I am not sure why media are not more noticeable in terms of signage/vests as they obviously are in ‘troubled areas’.

      • Yes, I found the casual dress surprising when comparing to CNN’s reporting from Hong Kong only just over a week ago. Journo Anna Coren was wearing a bright yellow vest with the word Press stamped in huge letters on it.

        In the USA, it seems that police are in some cases deliberately targeting the media. CNN’s website reported today that a Wall Street Journal journo was bashed by Manhattan police even though, she is quoted as saying in the story, that she was complying with police orders, had her hands in the air, and her NYPD media pass was clearly visible. She said that she was repeatedly struck by police until she was on the ground.

  3. It’s a bit mixed bag and two-way street for media. There’s the natural desire to report from news agencies, but also the need to not promote anti-social activities that are not peaceful. The politicisation of media organisations and protest organisers doesn’t help either,. But Sunrise were probably not likely taking a political stance on the issue anyways.

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