'Blood everywhere': Man 'knocked unconscious' in violent arrest

·3-min read

Melbourne Police are investigating an incident where a man was thrown to the ground by police and allegedly knocked unconscious.

The incident was caught on film on Wednesday and shared widely on social media on Thursday.

In the video, the man is seen talking to police at Flinders Street Station, when a police officer approaches him from behind and throws him to the ground.

It appears the man's head hits the floor and his headphones come flying off on impact.

A video shared to social media shows a man being thrown by Victoria Police on Wednesday at flinders Street Station in Melbourne. Source: Twitter
A video shared to social media shows a man being thrown by Victoria Police on Wednesday at flinders Street Station in Melbourne. Source: Twitter

In a statement to Yahoo News Australia, a Victoria Police confirmed the incident.

"Victoria Police are aware of a video circulating on social media depicting an arrest at Flinders Street Station," the statement said.

"The exact circumstances around the incident are yet to be determined and are under investigation by both Transit Safety Division and Professional Standards Command.

"Anyone who witnessed the incident, including the person who took the footage and the person depicted in the vision, are urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000."

Speaking about the incident on 3AW on Thursday, Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Shane Patton said the incident will be investigated with an "open mind" and looked at to determine if the officer "acted appropriately".

“There is always a before and after with these matters, and context, and I think that’s important,” he told 3AW.

A woman who shared the footage to social media told news.com.au her colleague was the one who captured the footage of the incident. 

Her social media post reportedly said the man in the video was calmly talking to police and following the incident there was 'blood and urine everywhere".

She said the man was unconscious for a while after the tackle.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 22: Protesters gather at the Shrine of Remembrance on September 22, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. Protests started on Monday over new COVID-19 vaccine requirements for construction workers but  turned into larger and at times violent demonstrations against lockdown restrictions in general. Melbourne is currently subject to COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, with people only permitted to leave home for essential reasons. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)
Protests started on Monday over Covid-19 vaccine requirements for construction workers but turned into larger and at times violent demonstrations against lockdown restrictions in general. Source: Getty Images

“When he woke up he was calling for his mum,” she told news.com.au.

Melbourne has been on edge since the weekend, with protests being held across the city, opposing mandatory vaccines and the lockdown.

Police response may harm efforts to deal with extremists

One analyst has said the police response to the unrest in Melbourne risks compromising longer term efforts to deal with extremists.

"This is a very big, very messy, very angry and incoherent group of people," the Australian Strategic Policy Institute's Dr Teagan Westendorf said of the recent protests.

A mob of 300 to 400 again swarmed the Victorian capital on Wednesday, despite stay-at-home orders and repeated warnings from authorities.

Riot squad members appeared to fire tear gas, rubber bullets and other non-lethal rounds when rioters became increasingly hostile during a stand-off at the Shrine of Remembrance.

Victorian Police stand guard as protesters demonstrate against mandatory Covid-19 vaccinations and a two-week shutdown of the construction industry at the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne. Source: AAP
Victorian Police stand guard as protesters demonstrate against mandatory Covid-19 vaccinations and a two-week shutdown of the construction industry at the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne. Source: AAP

But Dr Teagan Westendorf fears what she describes as "militarised policing" could work to galvanise the protesters, who she said already feel they are experiencing a police state.

"These kinds of police responses... in a way compromise long term efforts to deal with these groups," she said.

Dr Westendorf also said equipment such as rubber bullets could be lethal.

"This equipment is uncontrollable and inaccurate, the potential injuries are catastrophic, you can die from rubber bullets."

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