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Chris Rock

ATTACKS Camera

Over Tea Party Question

3/14/2012 2:00 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

0314_camera_attack
0_v26j4l22_0_vjma3q0xChris Rock
violently attacked a journalist's camera in January -- after the guy tried to trap Rock with a question about the comedian's controversial stance on the Tea Party -- and the intense footage has just surfaced.

In case you didn't know -- Rock went OFF on the TP last year in an Esquire interview, claiming, "When I see the Tea Party and all this stuff, it actually feels like racism’s almost over. Because this is the last -- this is the act up before the sleep. They’re going crazy. They’re insane."

So conservative writer Jason Mattera decided to question Rock about his opinion at the Sundance Film Festival in January -- blindsiding Rock with a TP question ... asking, "When you said the Tea Party was insane and racist ..."

But before he could finish his question, Rock tried to walk away. When he discovered his path was blocked by other people, Rock turned around and grabbed Mattera's camera and wrestled it to the ground.

A rep for Chris says the actor's attorney is looking into the video.

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