Demonstrators hold up placards protest outside of the White House, over the death of George Floyd in Washington D.C. on June 1, 2020.
Jose Luis Magana | AFP | Getty Images
WASHINGTON — Australia’s foreign minister said Tuesday that the nation will open an investigation into the apparent assault of an Australian news crew covering protests Monday night near the White House.
“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,” Foreign Minister Marise Payne said Tuesday.
While broadcasting live during a protest, Channel 7 correspondent Amelia Brace and cameraman Tim Myers were hit with rubber bullets and a shield as police forcibly cleared their position. The pair are then seen running from the scene while another policeman swung at them with a baton. Before Brace was struck, she was heard telling officers that she was a member of the media.
“You heard us yelling that we were media but they don’t care, they are indiscriminate at the moment,” Brace said during the live broadcast.
Australia’s ambassador in Washington, Arthur Sinodinos, said that his government was “in discussion with the State Department and they have offered assistance to identify where the complaint should be targeted.”
Arthur Culvahouse, President Donald Trump’s ambassador to Australia, said in a statement Tuesday that the administration takes “treatment of journalists seriously.”
“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.”
In the last four days, more than 120 press freedom violations have been reported nationwide by journalists covering the unrest sparked by the death in police custody of George Floyd, according to data compiled by the Committee to Protect Journalists.
Authorities cleared out protesters near the White House on Monday evening, making way for Trump and several top administration officials to walk to nearby St. John’s Church, where the president posed with a Bible.
— Reuters contributed to this report.