A shocking video going viral on social media shows a young Australian woman appear to be choked by a male police officer as she is being detained for not wearing a face mask in the country that is pursuing increasingly extreme policies to fight the spread of COVID-19.
The video, which was reportedly snapped in Melbourne, Australia, shows the officer manhandle the 21-year-old red head for failing to wear protective gear over her face.
“He’s choking me!” she shouts. “He’s choking me! What the f**k! Get off of me! Get off!”
As the arrest was made, the male officer in the shot chokes the unruly young woman who struggles against the arrest. The young woman kicks at a female officer attempting to assist with the arrest as the police demand her to stop resisting.
“You just kicked me in the –” the female officer exclaims before she is interrupted by the detainee who yelled: “Get the f**k off me! What are you doing? You’re f**king choking me. You’re f**king choking me, dude, what the f**k!”
The male officer then sweeps the leg of the female suspect, slowly taking her down to the ground, before kneeling on her, flipping her over, and driving her face into the ground as he pulls her arms behind her back.
A man in a purple scarf filming the incident said: “She went to the doctor yesterday. Look what you’re causing. You’re f***ing hypocrites.”
“There’s a man on a girl and you choked her.”
“For what? For a mask? For not having a mask? Look how pathetic you are! Are you serious? Just for not having a mask?”
— Rita Panahi (@RitaPanahi) August 11, 2020
The video enraged social media users, who claimed that the arrest had nothing to do with health and called for the sacking of the arresting officer.
According to The Daily Mail, Melbourne re-entered “draconian” lockdown status on July 19. Anybody found wandering about without a face mask is liable to a $200 AUD fine.
Victoria Police released a statement on the arrest that was viewed on Twitter over 1 million times:
“She refused to provide identification for breaching the Chief Health Officer’s directions. Police made the decision to arrest the woman after she failed to provide her name and address. She then became physically aggressive and kicked a female officer to the upper body. The woman continued to resist arrest and had to be taken to ground before being arrested.”
The woman has been charged with resist police and assault police.