Policemen douse an elderly woman with pepper spray during Melbourne’s anti-lockdown protests


An elderly woman was shoved to the ground and doused with pepper spray by two policemen during the Melbourne anti-lockdown riot.

The woman was bowled over by the two cops before they fired the spray directly on her face as she lay defenceless on the road trying to shield her eyes.

Disturbing photos and video of the scene divided the public who were outraged at heavy-handed police tactics, while others felt she deserved it for breaking public health orders. 

Hundreds of anti-lockdown demonstrators took to the streets in Melbourne on Saturday, sparking violent confrontations with police that resulted in 235 arrests and 10 injured officers.

A woman, reported to be in her 70s was knocked to the ground during the violent clashes between protesters and police in Melbourne

Demonstrators were slammed by most Victorians for breaking the city’s sixth lockdown, and Victorian Police commander Mark Galliott said the protest was just ‘angry, aggressive young males there to fight the police’.

But there was also anger towards police accused of using excessive force. 

The footage shows the woman wearing a wig with an Australian flag draped around her being knocked to the ground by officers.

The woman, reportedly in her 70s, lay injured on the ground and shielded her face while being doused with pepper spray by two officers standing over her.

She is seen wincing and writhing in pain as officers eventually help her to her feet.

While viewers agreed the actions of some protestors in Saturday weren’t necessary, they believe police used excessive force.

‘This country is turning to s**t very quickly…and it’s not because of the virus,’ host of The Primodcast posted.

‘It’s because of incompetent state governments and big pharmaceutical companies taking advantage of the situation to make a s*** tonne of money.’

The woman shields her face while being doused with pepper spray by police

The woman shields her face while being doused with pepper spray by police

The woman was bowled over by the two cops before they fired pepper spray directly on to her face as she lay defenceless on the road grabbing her eyes

The woman was bowled over by the two cops before they fired pepper spray directly on to her face as she lay defenceless on the road grabbing her eyes 

Others called for the officers involved to be charged. 

‘Sue every bloody one of these little animals who call themselves police. How would they like it, if it was their grandmother, mum, aunty, sister, niece or cousin,’ one wrote.

But not everyone was on the protester’s side.

‘If you feel danger, then stay home simple as that. Our freedom of choice is too important to let anyone talk us out of it,’ one wrote.

You are putting your own freedom at risk by blindly doing what other people tell you to do.’

One woman added:  ‘You say she is not a danger, well actually she is a danger by just breathing on someone. Haven’t you noticed that we are in a global pandemic. Selfish people.’

Others called for footage leading up to the incident to be shared.

Daily Mail Australia has contacted Victoria Police for comment, 

The injured protester is seen writhing in pain as she's helped to her feet by police

The injured protester is seen writhing in pain as she’s helped to her feet by police

The latest incident comes after footage emerged of a Melbourne protester surrendering to police before being tackled to ground and surrounded by up to a dozen officers on Saturday.

The 30 second clip begins with the man running away from dozens of police officers in hot pursuit as shocked passers-by watch on.

He eventually surrendered by putting his hands in the air as two officers caught up to him in a laneway.

He was quickly surrounded by officers who tackle him to the ground and detain him. 

The head of Victoria’s Police Association has sensationally demanded his officers not be questioned for their tactics the riot.

Wayne Gatt implied protesters seen being roughly tackled, bashed with batons, and pepper sprayed while on the ground deserved it just for showing up.

He lashed out that those who wanted to have ‘needless debates’ about whether police actions in those cases were ‘proportionate’.

Mr Gatt even pushed to shut down discussion of ‘issues of what’s right and what’s wrong’ arising from the protests. 

‘We need to stop nancy-pansying around these people, and we need to stop this needless debate about the proportionality, issues of what’s right and what’s wrong,’ he told reporters on Sunday.

‘They came into that demonstration with the intent to hurt our members, and they succeeded against 10 of them,’ he said. 

‘I’m not coping looking at the 0.01 per cent of actions and looking at our members who were confronted with such overwhelming violence.’

Mr Gatt implied non-violent protesters caught in the crossfire between the angry mob and police deserved to be injured because they broke lockdown to participate.

‘Those actions wouldn’t have occurred if those people didn’t attend an unlawful protest, no one had to be there,’ he said.

The man was tackled to the ground by police

The man is quickly surrounded by almost a dozen officers

Police tackle the man to the ground and surround him following the wild chase in Richmond

Police made 235 arrests on Saturday, most for breaching health directions while some were charged with assault, riotous behaviour and weapons and drug offences.

Those arrested will be fined $5,452 each, with 193 infringements handed out so far.

Police officers suffered injuries including a broken elbow and broken nose, a broken finger and torn muscles. Six officers were taken to hospital.

‘Police were subject to violent, hostile and aggressive behaviour,’ a Victoria Police statement read.

‘Numerous officers were assaulted while others had projectiles including glass bottles hurled in their direction. 

‘It was extremely disappointing to see another example of a small minority of the community showing a complete disregard for the health and safety of not only police, but each and every other Victorian.’ 

Police investigations into Saturday’s protests are continuing.

While many viewers called for the officers who doused the woman with pepper spray to be punished, others said demonstrators should have stayed at home

While many viewers called for the officers who doused the woman with pepper spray to be punished, others said demonstrators should have stayed at home

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