Charges over Vic anti-lockdown cop threats

·1-min read

Eight people have been arrested over allegations some used social media to intimidate police who worked during a Melbourne anti-lockdown rally last month.

Several threats were allegedly made about Victoria Police officers through social media, mobile devices and email following the at-times violent rally in central Melbourne on August 21.

Police launched an investigation and raided properties across the state on Thursday morning, arresting eight people in total.

Three men, aged 33 to 37, and a 35-year-old Hillside woman were all charged with intimidation of a law enforcement officer among other offences. All four have been bailed to face court late this year or in early 2022.

Four others, a woman and three men aged between 33 and 63, were also arrested and released pending summons.

The investigation into the alleged online threats remains ongoing, police said.

It comes after Monica Smit, the leader of anti-lockdown party Reignite Democracy Australia, was charged earlier this week with inciting the August 21 protest.

It is alleged Smit encouraged more than 180,000 of her followers on social media to break Melbourne's lockdown rules by attending protests in the CBD.

She appeared in court on Wednesday and remains in custody after refusing to sign bail papers with strict conditions.

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