Australia Prime Minister Trolls Trump Administration Over Police Violence

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The Australian government has condemned an attack on Australian journalists outside the White House on Monday, where the crew was covering a protest in Lafayette Square. Cameraman Tim Myers and reporter Amelia Brace were both attacked by police officers who were attempting to clear the area for the apparent sole reason of making a space for President Donald Trump to hold a photo op at a nearby church without people around. Right on camera for all the world to see, an officer repeatedly beat Myers with a riot shield, and another officer hit Brace with a baton. Both of them were shot at with rubber bullets and affected by reported tear gas — and all of this insanity unfolded because they were attempting to do their job of bringing the news.

The Canberra Times reports that Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison “described the attack as troubling and has asked for an investigation,” adding that he has been in touch with Network Seven, where the journalists work, “to check on the crew’s welfare and offer his government’s support, should they wish to pursue a formal complaint against police through the Australian embassy.” Morrison also “ordered the embassy to investigate the incident and register Australia’s “strong concerns” with local authorities,” the publication added.

Both sides within Australia’s parliamentary government have condemned the incident. Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese added:

‘In a democratic society the role of the media is critical, and it’s important the media are able to report on events, including crises such as we’re seeing in the United States, free from harassment. The violence that has occurred towards members of the media is completely unacceptable.’

During her live broadcast, Brace noted that police officers were being “quite violent and… do not care who they’re targeting at the moment.”

The incident involving the Australian news crew outside the White House this week is far from the first of its kind. Police officers, operating under the cover of the relentless anti-media rhetoric from the White House, have repeatedly brazenly attacked journalists who have simply been peacefully present on the scene, reporting on what’s going on. Reporters were arrested on Monday in New Jersey, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, and Atlanta. Cincinnati reporter Pat Brennan had a “clear press badge around his neck as he’s thrown to the ground by like a half a dozen officers,” one observer noted. Will any of the cops responsible for this mayhem face any sort of consequences? Or will the police system in the United States continue to protect the perpetrators of this violence?

Besides the attacks on journalists, there have also been many documented police attacks on completely peaceful protesters, which have also unfolded in the shadow of the president’s own relentlessly violent rhetoric. Outside the White House on Monday, it’s not just reporters who were attacked — police charged at and attacked an entire large group of completely peaceful, completely legal demonstrators, just so the president could stage the spectacle of walking out of the White House and over to St. Johns Church for a photo op.