Video has emerged of a Victorian police officer arresting an unmasked young woman who claims she is being choked during the confrontation.
The footage – filmed by a bystander as well as witnesses from a nearby apartment – is being shared on Tuesday morning as ‘anti-maskers’ continue to compile what they say are examples of excessive force being used by police during coronavirus lockdowns.
At the start of the videos, it appears the policeman is speaking up-close to the woman – who is not wearing a mask – on a Melbourne street before a struggle ensues.
The unidentified woman is heard repeatedly shouting “he’s choking me” while the officer’s gloved hands appear to be around her throat, before she is pushed against a brick wall.
“What the f— are you doing to me? What have I done? What have I done?,” the woman screams after being pushed down onto the footpath.
Victoria Police issued a statement on Tuesday, saying the 21-year-old woman had been charged with resisting and assaulting police.
They said she was arrested after failing to provide her name and address.
Watch the video below
The footage comes at a time of heightened tensions between a small group of Victorians, dubbed ‘anti-maskers’, who have at times been baiting police and filming their interactions as they defy lockdown rules.
It’s unclear from the video what conversations took place before the officer confronted the woman, and The New Daily is not suggesting she is a member of anti-mask groups.
In the video, a male bystander who is filming can be heard telling police the woman had visited a doctor the previous day and was granted an exemption against wearing a mask.
“You’re choking her… There’s a man on a girl and you choked her. For what? For not having a mask?” he says in the video.
“She’s got a note from the doctor,” he later says after another group of Victoria Police officers arrive at the scene.
The woman being arrested repeatedly screams and swears at the police.
The video shows that at one point, while being held against the brick wall, the woman kicks out towards a female police officer.
The male officer then appears to sit on the woman for more than four minutes during which time he attempts to handcuff her after claiming she had committed an assault.
“You grabbed me. I did not assault you,” the woman tells the officer.
“You grabbed her,” the bystander says.
The man repeatedly demands the officer “get off her”, saying “she is a girl”.
But the officer remains on the woman who says “this is not reasonable force”.
In another video, which appears to have been filmed from a nearby apartment, another witness can be heard saying “all because she wasn’t wearing a mask…seriously man”.
Teens among recent arrests for coronavirus breaches
More than 270 people have been fined for breaching coronavirus restrictions in Victoria, including five caught drinking together in a garage.
Police have also released details of arrests in other states, after people allegedly illegally travelled across borders.
Victoria Police conducted 3879 spot checks on homes, businesses and public places the 24 hours to Monday. They said 276 people were fined.
The fines include 74 people slapped with a $1652 bill for breaching Melbourne’s curfew and 37 fined $200 for failing to wear a face mask.
A group of five people was caught by police drinking, smoking and listening to loud music in a garage in Wyndham, in Melbourne’s outer south-western suburbs, following a noise complaint.
Another group of four men, all from different addresses, were fined after they “hanging out” in a Campbellfield car park.
A couple were caught travelling beyond 5km to go to a playground in Wyndham to play with their children because they were “sick of walking around their local area”.
Meanwhile, in Queensland, two teens who travelled from coronavirus hotspot Sydney have been arrested after allegedly lying on their border declarations.
The girls, aged 15 and 16, arrived on a train from Sydney to Brisbane on Friday before the borders closed. The pair then travelled to the Sunshine Coast.
Officers tracked them down at a Noosa shopping centre and took them into custody on Monday.
The girls, from Queensland and NSW, are likely to be placed in quarantine once they have been tested for COVID-19. No charges have been laid.
*WARNING* strong language