Disturbing footage is circulating online of NSW Police allegedly pepper-spraying a 12-year-old girl over not wearing a mask.
The video was posted by a family member on Facebook, who claims NSW Police pepper-sprayed her 12-year-old niece over not wearing a mask.
“Everyone make this go viral!!!” the post reads. “NSW police, arresting my 20 year old niece and pepper spraying my 12 year old niece for no mask!!! Fucken disgusting!!!”
The full video, which has been circulating social media, shows the original poster’s family having a confrontation with Blacktown police over the arrest of a 20-year-old woman at a shopping centre on Prospect Highway, Seven Hills on Friday 2 July.
The video starts with footage of what seems to be a group of people allegedly refusing to allow the police to arrest a 20-year-old woman for not wearing a mask.
“So, my sister’s getting arrested for shopping with no mask, but there’s people around us all not wearing a mask,” the person recording the video can be heard to say. The crowd argues as more police arrive on scene, and at around the 3.40 mark, chaos erupts.
It seems from the blurry footage that the police converge to detain the young woman while dispersing the crowd. The camera shakes around, there’s lots of screaming, and then one woman cries “she’s twelve years old!” to which a cop allegedly replies: “I don’t care.”
It’s worth mentioning here that in the event wearing a mask is mandatory in NSW (like when you are shopping or catching public transport), the restrictions do not apply to children who are 12-years-old and under.
The footage shows the confrontation between the police and family members of the woman being arrested escalating into what seems to be some sort of physical altercation, as the girl recording the footage cries and others scream.
It’s pretty unclear what’s happening in the thick of the chaos, but a woman cries “they pepper-sprayed a twelve-year-old!” while being escorted to the police van, and then the camera shows the girl who the woman claims was allegedly pepper-sprayed screaming and frantically rubbing her eyes. An un-masked police officer tells the girl recording “that’s enough,” before another officer threatens to arrest the girl and her family members.
The camera is then handed to a woman who says “they pepper-sprayed a twelve-year-old and me.” The young girl in question can be seen rinsing her eyes out with water while being taken care of by other bystanders.
“A twelve-year-old pepper-sprayed, because she’s a threat to all of these cops, who have guns,” the woman recording says.
Ironically, some of the police involved in the arrest are not wearing masks.
NSW Police have issued a statement in regards to what happened, stating that two women were arrested and charged, but haven’t addressed specific questions on whether a 12-year-old-girl was pepper-sprayed.
Their statement reads:
“About 4.20pm on Friday 2 July 2021, officers from Blacktown Police Area Command were conducting high-visibility patrols of a shopping centre at Prospect Hwy, Seven Hills, when they saw a woman in breach of the current Public Health Orders by not wearing a mask while indoors.
Police asked the 20-year-old woman for identification; however, she refused. As police moved to arrest the woman, a 37-year-old woman approached and allegedly became aggressive towards police. Officers deployed OC spray to effect the arrest; the younger woman then allegedly kicked a senior constable to the legs and a probationary constable to the abdomen.
Both women were taken to Blacktown Police Station where the younger woman was charged with not wear fitted face covering in retail/business premises, not comply with stay at home direction, two counts of assault officer in execution of duty, and resist officer in execution of duty. She was refused bail and appeared before Parramatta Local Court on 3 July 2021 and was granted conditional bail, to reappear before Blacktown Local Court on 12 July 2021.
The older woman was charged with resist officer in execution of duty and granted conditional bail to appear before Blacktown Local Court 8 July 2021.
The Blacktown incident comes to light after other reports of heavy-handed approaches to people not wearing masks. On the same day as this incident, NSW Police brutally arrested anti-maskers at a grocery store in Bowral, with many people shocked at the level of force used for something that they reckon should’ve been a minor issue.
Is this level of force necessary against an elderly man, @nswpolice? All this over masks?
— Rita Panahi (@RitaPanahi) July 2, 2021
NSW Police demonstrating correct mask wearing procedure (cough) while arresting shop keepers for mask violations. pic.twitter.com/lU3I4wA5Mv
— Ross Cameron (@RossCameron4) July 2, 2021
Attempts to reach the person who posted the original video were unanswered.