17:50 GMT21 June 2021
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    Two officers of the US Park Police (USPP) are now under investigation and have been assigned to administrative duties following the circulation of videos showing them attacking Australian journalists near the White House.

    USPP acting Chief Gregory T. Monahan issued a statement Wednesday noting that the officers are now under investigation.

    The “incident with the Australian Press” refers to the officers’ documented June 1 assault of 7 Network Australia’s Tim Myers and Amelia Brace in Lafayette Park.

    Another social media post shows the act in slow motion.

    An additional perspective of the attack was captured by Myers’ camera and viewed live in Australia.

    The Monday assault - which occurred as authorities descended upon the park in order to clear the way for US President Donald Trump’s photo-op in front of the St. John's Episcopal Church - has been denounced by area religious leaders.

    Leadership from the historic Episcopal church has blasted Trump’s photoshoot as “uninvited and unannounced,” as reported by local outlet WJLA. Rev. Mariann Budde, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, also communicated that she was “outraged” by the US president’s visit.

    According to the Washington Post, which cited a Department of Justice official, the police received orders to clear the park from US Attorney General William Barr. A former Secret Service agent told the outlet that the incident appeared to be an unnecessary escalation by law enforcement.

    “Usually officers hold a line and don’t move forward unless there is provocation,” the agent said. “The officers give constant warnings and communicate clearly with the crowd. But here it seems like there is some time pressure; they were acting like a bomb is about to go off.”

    Monahan denied reports that his officers deployed tear gas at the scene on Monday.

    “As many of the protesters became more combative, continued to throw projectiles, and attempted to grab officers’ weapons, officers then employed the use of smoke canisters and pepper balls,” he claimed.

    “No tear gas was used by USPP officers or other assisting law enforcement partners to close the area at Lafayette Park.”

    Radio Sputnik's Political Misfits host Bob Schlehuber and producer Michelle Witte reported their firsthand experiences from the peaceful protests during a recent broadcast.

    The Committee to Protect Journalists noted on Monday that “at least 125 press freedom violations” were reported within three days of protests in the US.

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    Tags:
    The White House, Bill Barr, Barr, abuse of power, Police brutality, assault, Australia, Donald Trump, police
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