Police officer charged with assault over violent arrest footage
A Victorian police officer will face court over an arrest during which he allegedly slammed a man to the ground, knocking him unconscious.
The incident took place on September 22 at Melbourne’s Flinders Street Station amid widespread protests over Covid restrictions.
The 36-year-old senior constable has been charged with recklessly cause injury, unlawful assault and common law assault.
Footage of the incident appears to show a man speaking with officers in an apparent calm manner when the senior constable approaches from behind and flings him to the ground.
The man’s head can be heard hitting the hard floor and a pair of headphones are knocked off.
According to a caption written by the woman who initially posted the video, the man was knocked unconscious and there was “blood and urine everywhere”.
“This poor guy was calm, he was just talking to the police,” the caption said.
“You can see it in the video then he gets thrown to the ground. You can hear his face hit the tiles.”
The woman later told news.com.au the man was unconscious “for a while” and when he woke up was calling for his mother.
She added that police handcuffed the man while he was unconscious.
“We are all very disturbed by this and I’ve been inundated with people worldwide wanting to know if this man is all right,” she said.
“We understand the paramedics looked at him but not sure what happened after that.”
When the video emerged last year, police were cracking down on anti-Covid restriction protesters following several straight days of demonstrations by construction workers.
At the time, chief commissioner of Victoria Police Shane Patton told 3AW that by and large, police had responded reasonably and proportionately to a very difficult situation.
“I couldn’t be prouder of them. What they’ve done and the way they’ve conducted themselves,” he said.
The senior constable has been charged by summons to appear before court at a later date.
Originally published as Police officer charged with assault over violent arrest footage
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