Video of an Australian woman being confronted by police and violently wrestled to the ground for not wearing a mask has gone viral and sparked an official inquiry.
The incident occured Monday afternoon when the 21-year-old appeared to be approached by two police officers in an outer suburb of Melbourne, the capital of the state of Victoria, as she walked on a public street.
According to local outlet 7News, she was arrested after the altercation, believed to be for not wearing a mask, which is in breach of the Chief Health Officers orders under Stage 4.
The woman – who was subsequently found to have had an exemption for wearing a mask – appears to resist as the male officer grabs her and she is pushed against a wall.
“You’re choking me,” she yells and repeatedly swears at the officer before she is forced to the ground:
The video appears to have been filmed from a building above where the incident was taking place.
“What a joke. This is where all the police in Victoria are,” the woman filming said as more officers arrived to complete the arrest.
The woman has been charged with resisting police and assaulting police and the arrest has been referred to an internal Victoria police review body, the Professional Standards Command.
“Police made the decision to arrest the woman after she failed to provide her name and address,” a Victoria Police spokesperson said, NINE News reports. “She also did not state she had an exemption for not wearing a face covering. ”
Victoria, with a population of 6.359 million, recorded its deadliest day on Monday with 19 coronavirus-related deaths and 322 new cases.