Elderly woman capsicum-sprayed by cops at Melbourne protests refuses to assist police probe
An elderly woman who crashed to the ground in the midst of a chaotic protest and had pepper spray blasted in her face by officers is refusing to cooperative with a investigation into the incident.
The shocking incident on September 18 made headlines around the world and raised questions about the heavy-handed tactics of Victoria Police tasked with keeping a lid on Melbourne‘s anti Covid lockdown demonstrations.
The woman in her 70s and draped in an Australian flag was bowled over by the two cops before they fired the spray directly on her face as she lay defenceless on the road trying to shield her eyes.
The woman was bowled over by the two cops before they fired pepper spray directly on to her face as she lay defenceless on the road grabbing her eyes
The woman shields her face while being doused with pepper spray by police during the Melbourne protest on September 18
A woman, in her 70s was knocked to the ground during the violent clashes between protesters and police in Melbourne
While many viewers called for the officers who doused the woman with pepper spray to be punished, others said demonstrators should have stayed at home
Disturbing photos and video of the scene divided the Australian public as well as the international community with some outraged at the use of force and others laying the blame squarely on her for breaking public health orders and joining rioters on September 18 in inner city Richmond.
A professional standards command inquiry is now underway to determine if the officers involved should face repercussions and there were plans to hear the woman’s account of the incident.
But so far she’s remained tight-lipped, turning down repeated requests to be interviewed by the internal police probe, the Herald Sun reported.
Despite her refusal to talk, police told Daily Mail Australia the inquiry will continue into the incident regardless.
Several other incidents are also being reviewed as part of the investigation including a photographer who was doused with capsicum spray just moments after the woman.
Another disturbing incident also captured on film has already resulted in an officer from a specialist Victoria Police unit being suspended after footage surfaced of him slamming a protester headfirst into the ground at Flinders St Station, leaving him unconscious.
Demonstrators stormed through police lines in Richmond and trampled on officers as they tried to fend off the crowd
A frenzied mob of protesters burst through a police line in Richmond and trampled over officers knocked to the ground
Video filmed at Flinders Street Station in the city’s CBD showed the man talking to other officers when another policeman approached from behind.
The officer then grabbed the man by the shoulders before throwing him against the hard tile floor, sending his headphones flying across the station concourse.
The woman who posted the footage online said it had gained global attention and that she had been contacted by people around the world who wanted to know if the man was OK.
‘This poor guy was calm, he was just talking to the police,’ her video caption read.
‘You can see it it in the video then he gets thrown to the ground. You can hear his face hit the tiles. He was unconscious, blood and urine everywhere.’
The witness said police then handcuffed the man, who was unconscious ‘for a while’ before being treated by paramedics.
The video emerged online after thousands of protesters staged three consecutive days of anti-vaxxer demonstrations on the streets of Melbourne. Pictured are demonstrators at the city’s Shine of Remembrance
The Melbourne protest drew demonstrators of all walks from life, including tradies wearing fluro outfits and youths shielding their faces with masks
Ugly scenes broke out across Melbourne during September with thousands of anti-vaxx and anti-lockdown protesters taking to the streets as part of various demonstrations.
Victoria police confirmed on Tuesday that yet another demonstrator has been charged after he allegedly clashed with police.
‘North West Metro Regional Crime Squad detectives have charged a man who allegedly assaulted a police officer during a protest in Richmond on 18 September,’ a police statement said.
‘A policeman was on the ground attempting to arrest a man who had assaulted a PSO when another man allegedly ran up and kneed the policeman in the face.
‘The policeman sustained minor injuries during the incident.’
The 40-year-old has been charged with assaulting police officer, intentionally obstructing a police officer, resisting arrest and a string of other minor offences.
The Ringwood East man was bailed to appear in Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on March 15.
Melbourne remains under stay-at-home orders and has endured the highest number of days in lockdown for any city, anywhere in the world, since the coronavirus pandemic began.