Video showing police in Melbourne confronting two female protesters near the site of an anti-lockdown rally on Saturday, September 5, was shared widely online, with the footage showing an officer snatching a phone from one of the women.
The women were sitting on a bench near the Shrine of Remembrance when they were confronted by the police. According to Elia Palombino, the person who shot the video, the women were “doing nothing, sitting there and holding a sign.”
One woman asks, “On what grounds am I under arrest?” After shouting the question, an officer responds, “For failing to provide your name and address.”
Storyful is unable to confirm if the women were arrested, and Palombino did not wait at the scene to see if arrests were made. Victoria Police told Storyful it was aware of the video, but could provide no further details.
“Without further details around this incident such as the time, date, location and details of the police officers involved, we are unable to provide further comment,” said police in a statement. “Generally speaking, it is an offence to not provide your name and details to police when they believe you have either committed or are about to commit an offence.”
Police also told Storyful that police have the power to “remove items from a person’s possession where necessary to effect an arrest.”
According to The Age, 17 people were arrested at the rally on Saturday and at least 160 fines were issued. Approximately 200 people attended the rally. Credit: Elia Palombino via Storyful