A police union representing the US Park Police denied publicly naming the officer who was involved in an assault on two Australian TV journalists covering the DC protests on the night of June 1.
In a statement, Kenneth Spencer, chairman of The Fraternal Order of Police United States Park Police Labor Committee, said the officer would not be identified due to privacy rights and an ongoing investigation into the incident by the US Park Police.
Spencer, who was on-duty in Lafayette park on Monday night as well, said that the Australian journalists that were targeted were not “readily identifiable” as members of the media amid the demonstrations.
The foreign journalists were in a “very dangerous area in the middle of violent protesters,” according to the labor union’s statement.
“We wish the Australian reporting team well and simply wish that the circumstances of their visit had been better,” Spencer added.
Along with the officer represented by the union, another US Park Police officer also took part in the attack. Both were subsequently placed on administrative duty during the investigation.
Australian 7NEWS’ US Correspondent Amelia Brace and cameraman Tim Myers were covering the protests in Washington, DC’s Lafayette park against police brutality that erupted in response to the police killing of George Floyd on Monday, June 1.
In an incident caught on camera during a demonstration outside the White House, one US Park Police officer was seen hitting cameraman Myers with a riot shield, punching him in the face and grabbing his camera. Another officer was swinging a baton at Brace’s back. The attack was aired live on Australian television.
“It was an absolutely terrifying experience but we came through it together,” Brace said, speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald on Tuesday. She added that she had bruising across her shoulders and welts from the rubber bullets.