Australia has launched an investigation after a pair of its reporters were attacked by Washington, D.C. police on Monday when authorities charged into a group of peaceful protesters at Lafayette Park across from the White House. Foreign Minister Marise Payne said she has asked its embassy to probe the incident and indicate “strong concern” with the responsible local authorities, after video of the attack was met with condemnation across Australia, Yahoo News reports.
Just moments before President Donald Trump delivered a Rose Garden speech promising to stop “acts of domestic terror,” police used tear gas, rubber bullets, and riot shields to clear demonstrators from the park—a move that was eventually revealed to have been designed to clear room for Trump walk over to St. John’s Episcopal Church for a photo-op.
U.S. Ambassador to Australia Arthur Culvahouse Jr., responded on Twitter: “We take mistreatment of journalists seriously, as do all who take democracy seriously.”
In footage captured by local station WJLA, 7 News Australia reporter Amelia Brace and cameraman Tim Myers were hit by officers as they pushed into the peaceful gathering. After one officer whacked Myers with his shield before briefly pinning him against a stone wall, another officer took a swing at Brace with a baton as the pair ran off.