Sunday, July 21, 2024

Vic Police accused of heavy-handed tactics

Victorian Police have been accused of heavy-handed tactics after five officers surrounded two elderly women sitting on a park bench and threatened them with arrest for not providing identification.

A member of the public filmed the incident, which took place on Saturday during ‘Freedom Day’ protests, and posted it online. The footage shows police speaking with the pair, before a male officer moves around to the rear of the park bench the women are sitting on and snatches a mobile phone from the hand of one of the women as she films the encounter.

“No, I’m not standing up,” one of the women can be heard telling the police officers.

“On what grounds am I under arrest?” she asks at one point. “This is unlawful.”

In the recorded footage, an officer is heard responding, “For failing to provide your name and address.”

The second woman takes her mobile phone from her bag and begins recording the officers, before a male officer snatches the device from her hand.

“Excuse me, you have no right to seize my property,” the woman yells.

Victorian police said seven people were charged with breaching state COVID-19 restrictions during the protests. It’s unknown whether the two women shown in the footage from Saturday’s park incident were arrested.

Melbourne residents are currently only permitted to leave home between 5am and 9pm for work, essential shopping, exercise and caregiving purposes.

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