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Victoria Police Under Fire After Anti-Lockdown Protestor Gets Capsicum Sprayed In The Face

Victoria Police Under Fire After Anti-Lockdown Protestor Gets Capsicum Sprayed In The Face

The matter is being investigated by Victoria Police's Professional Standards Command.

Stewart Perrie

Stewart Perrie

Victoria Police officers have come under fire after footage from the weekend's anti-lockdown protest shows one individual seemingly being pushed to the ground and capsicum-sprayed in the face.

Hundreds of people took to Melbourne's streets on Saturday (September 18) to rally against the lockdown restrictions that are designed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Public transport int he CBD was shut down to stop more people from joining and Victoria Police were out in force to control those who did rock up.

There were several parts of the protest that turned violent and officers tried to contain the outbreaks.

Michael Currie/Speed Media/Alamy Live News

However, footage captured by Rebel News appears to show a woman get pushed to the ground and have capsicum spray blasted into her face. You can see the footage here.

According to News Corp, the woman is aged in her 70s, however police couldn't confirm the woman' age.

Victoria Police is aware of the incident and has referred the matter to their internal Professional Standards Command.

The force is also looking into alleged instances where two photojournalists were pepper sprayed while covering the anti-lockdown protest.

Photographer Luis Ascui from The Age and another photographer tried to tell police they were media, however they copped a faceful of the painful spray.

"Some protesters were still marching, and the police started running for the people, so I was photographing that," Ascui told the newspaper.

"Most of the protesters rushed off, then one of the police turned towards me and started spraying me right in the face ... directly into my eyes."

Protest
Protest

Editor for The Age, Gay Alcorn, said a formal complaint will be lodged with to Victoria Police.

A spokesperson for Victoria Police confirmed that issue was also being investigated by the Professional Standards Command and said the media 'plays an important role in covering events'.

There were six police officers who were so badly injured while trying to patrol the anti-lockdown protest that they had to be taken to hospital.

Victorian Police Association Secretary Wayne Gatt has defended the officers who have been criticised for allegedly using too much force to control the protestors.

"I'm not copping that one bit. They came to that demonstration with the intent to hurt our members, they succeeded against 10 of them," he said.

"I'm not copping looking at the 0.01 per cent of actions and looking at our members who were confronted with such overwhelming violence.

"Those actions wouldn't have occurred if those people didn't attend an unlawful protest."

He added. "Police have become the physical target for this violence, but they're not the ideological target. Governments are the ideological target, yet it's our members that become the punching bags for this," he said.

Featured Image Credit: Jay Kogler/Alamy Live News

Topics: No-Article-Matching, Australia