US-based Australian journalist Amelia Brace testifies about police brutality after being attacked during George Floyd protests

An Australian journalist has testified about police brutality at a US congressional committee after she was caught in the violent crossfire during protests last month over the death of George Floyd.

7 News US correspondent Amelia Brace was called to give evidence about police actions during what started as a peaceful protest outside the White House.

The protest turned vicious after US President Donald Trump made a controversial national address and walked to a church for a photo opportunity after authorities dispersed protesters with tear gas and rubber bullets.

Brace and cameraman Tim Myers becoming caught in the crossfire. During the violence, an officer lashed out and punched Myers' equipment - an attack that was broadcast to viewers.

Amelia Brace was reporting on the protests when she and a cameraman were attacked by police officers.
Amelia Brace was reporting on the protests when she and a cameraman were attacked by police officers. Photo credit: Sunrise

That response came as chaos erupted in the streets of Washington DC, set off by the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died on May 25 after a police officer knelt on his neck for nine minutes. That chaos spread throughout the US in the days following Floyd's alleged murder, with widespread rioting and looting.

Brace said on Monday many journalists were "shocked" at what they had seen in recent weeks.

"Journalists have been attacked, beaten, and detained just for doing their jobs," Brace told the committee.

"Covering protests does carry unavoidable risk, but the media's role is essential.

"We don't just have a right to be there, we have an obligation," Brace said, as reported by USA Today.

Footage from the incident showed an officer violently throwing his riot shield at Myers, while another officer strikes Brace across the face with a baton.

"It is crucial to democracy that journalists be allowed to do their job freely and safely," she testified.

"And that is certainly something we should expect in the world's greatest democracy."

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