Footage has emerged of NSW Police brutally arresting a bunch of rabid anti-maskers at an organic grocery store in Bowral. These people were deliberately and indignantly flouting mask rules, but at the same time, the cops at the scene got way too physical over what really should’ve been minor issue.
The incident occurred at around midday on Thursday. Police rocked up to The Organic Store Bowral following reports that staff and customers weren’t wearing masks indoors, something which is currently mandatory in shops across NSW.
According to police, officers initially spoke with the shop’s 62-year-old manager.
“She stated she had no intentions of complying with the current orders and was arrested after refusing to provide police her details,” NSW Police said in a statement.
On Instagram, the shop’s owners claimed that police had “a long winded roundabout discussion that wasn’t leading anywhere.”
Eventually, a 61-year-old customer came in and started filming. When police asked her to wear a mask as well, the store manager intervened. Police arrested both the manager and the customer.
According to NSW Police said, “as officers escorted the [two] women outside to a police vehicle, they were confronted by a 63-year-old man [one of the store’s owners] who yelled at officers before pulling down the face mask of a sergeant.”
The police responded by slamming him against the back of the cop car.
Three officers then manhandled the 63-year-old co-owner of the store, who eventually tripped and hit the ground. One of the cops then grabbed the phone of the woman filming, despite the fact she never physically intervened.
The man was also arrested and charged with assaulting an officer, among other things. He was given conditional bail to appear in court next month.
The manager and the customer were released later on Thursday afternoon, with the customer copping a $200 penalty infringement notice.
This whole incident plays right into the persecution complex of anti-maskers, and given how rough and unnecessarily forceful the police appeared to be, who could blame them?
Afterwards, the shop’s owners posted footage (accompanied by some pretty dramatic descriptions) all over Instagram. The thing is, the shop’s official account is a cesspit of conspiracy theories and pseudoscience that has little-to-nothing to do with organic groceries.
“Masks are unhygienic and in an open food store (organic store) it isn’t safe,” the shop’s owners falsely claimed in their description of the arrest.
It’s one of those statements that makes so little sense that it’s kind of difficult to actually debunk in the first place, but suffice to say, it’s total bullshit.
Meanwhile, the woman who recorded the incident, a self-described “entrepreneur and yogi”, also shared a Craig Kelly meme not long after posting about the arrest. That says it all, really.
This whole situation just sucks.
It’s never nice to see police throwing their weight around to enforce what should be trivial and temporary laws. But at the same time, it’s so important to wear masks and follow other health recommendations whenever new COVID clusters emerge in Australia.
Probably the most annoying people to rear their heads in the past 12 months or so are these obnoxious, anti-science and anti-commonsense dickheads who cause a stir by refusing to wear masks and then post the evidence online for clout.
Yet surely there’s an alternative solution to this problem than forcefully shoving boomers into the back of paddy wagons.