Police STAMP on man's head: ‘All this can be avoided if people don’t protest’

Police STAMP on man's head: ‘All this can be avoided if people don’t protest’

The senior politician in the Australian state Victoria has said that “all this can be avoided if people don't protest” coronavirus restrictions in response to questions about video of police first knocking down a mentally ill man with their vehicle and subsequently stomping on his head. An official police statement described the stomp as “inappropriate use of force” and the “use of force in using a police vehicle” as “concerning.”

Footage of the incident shows a police car ramming into the man, before one officer appears to stamp or forcefully kick his head while he is restrained on the ground by six other officers. The arrest is not believed to be linked with the man breaking coronavirus restrictions. Police alleged that the man had become aggressive, resisted arrest, and damaged a patrol car.

Nevertheless, when State Premier Daniel Andrews was asked during a press conference what he made of a number of recent incidents involving Victoria Police – including the now widely viewed footage of the man being kicked in the head by police officers – and if he was worried that such incidents might affect public trust in police, Andrews drew a link with people protesting the coronavirus restrictions.

“I think I’m safe to make the following comment,” Andrews said, “much of this, sorry, all of it can be avoided if people don't protest. That’s the first thing, because protesting is not only selfish but it’s stupid.”

The man’s father, Glen, told the 3AW news station that his son was “rammed by the police car” and that he had not been aggressive to the police. Glen said that his son has bipolar disorder and that he had left the hospital on Sunday while waiting for an appointment. He said his son left because the hospital had no bed available for him while he waited a day and a half to see a doctor. Glen claims that the hospital called the police solely out of concern for his son’s own safety and that his son was not a danger to anyone else.

Glen told radio host Neil Mitchell that his son had been subsequently placed in an induced coma by medics in order for them to conduct a CT scan. He said that the family would be launching legal action against the police. 

In recent weeks Victoria Police have been gaining worldwide attention for their heavy-handed treatment of those not complying with lockdown restrictions. Videos which have gone “viral” online on social media in recent weeks include Victoria Police smashing the door down of a man’s home and arresting him for allegedly promoting anti-lockdown events online; and a video which shows a young woman being forced to the ground by a large, male police officer for the “crime” of not wearing a mask in public.

This past weekend, according to reports in Australian media, almost 200 people were fined and 74 arrested at events protesting the Victoria coronavirus restrictions, with multiple videos of dramatic arrests posted online.

Victoria currently has one of the strictest coronavirus lockdowns anywhere in the world, with daily curfews and mandatory mask wearing in public. People are severely restricted in where they can go and what they can do.