A mother who was detained in front of her screaming son at an illegal protest against coronavirus restrictions has been told by the head of NSW Police she was “in the driver’s seat” throughout her ugly arrest, and was ultimately the one who put her son in danger.
NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller defended the way officers handled her arrest outside NSW Parliament on Sydney’s Macquarie Street on Saturday during an “illegal protest” against lockdown measures amid the pandemic.
Video of the incident has circulated online and shows Renee Altakrity, 36, resisting arrest while holding on to her four-year-old son as she screams for officers to leave her alone.
“I’ve not committed an offence,” she yells, as other protesters, from a group police say grew to 40 people, try and remonstrate with officers telling them she has a child.
Commissioner Fuller told 2GB’s Ben Fordham if the woman hadn’t “refused” to take orders from police, she would have been able to leave peacefully with a ticket.
“I think police showed an enormous amount of restraint in a very difficult situation,” he said.
“I think police used their powers very sensibly.”
Comm Fuller also revealed police in Liverpool are investigating whether Ms Altakrity has breached coronavirus restrictions after allegations she was unlawfully operating her beauty business.
‘Why would you bring a four-year-old?’
He also questioned why the child was brought to an illegal event that not only breached current health orders but the Summary Offences Act as well.
“I feel so sorry for the four-year-old boy who shouldn’t have been put in that situation... why you would take a four-year-old boy into that situation is beyond me.”
Comm Fuller reassured listeners the boy was well looked after by police following the arrest of his mother.
“She caused this,” he reiterated.
“She was in the driver’s seat from the start to the finish of this and she was well deserving of a ticket and perhaps more.
“She made a decision to make it difficult and put her son in danger.”
Comm Fuller said he had reviewed all of the available bodycam footage from attending officers and said they were “extremely fair”.
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