The incident occurred when police tried to disperse a rally of about 1,500 people organized by several radical Islamic groups to protest U.S. military action in Afghanistan and demand that the Indonesian government sever diplomatic relations with the United States. After firing warning shots, police used tear gas and water cannons and struck protesters and the journalists with clubs.
As Malianza filmed police officers vandalizing a car, the police beat him and forced him to hand over the tape. During the melee, officers damaged several cars, including one owned by Reuters, the Jakarta Post reported.
After several local journalist groups protested the actions, Jakarta police chief Sofjan Jacoeb apologized formally and returned the confiscated videotape to representatives of Metro TV and Indosiar.