A teenager reportedly suffered a seizure when an undercover police officer placed him in a chokehold at a Melbourne mall earlier this week.
In an incident captured on video, a male officer could be seen tackling the teenager and lying across his back while a female officer handcuffed him.
The 19-year-old was reportedly eating a meal with his partner and 19-month-old child when he was approached by the officers. The incident took place at Dandenong Plaza in Melbourne’s southeast on Tuesday morning.
An ambulance took the teenager to hospital under police supervision. It was reported that he suffered a seizure and head injuries as a result of the incident.
Victoria Police said the man was arrested “in relation to a number of ongoing investigations involving theft of motor vehicles, theft from motor vehicles and burglaries across Melbourne” in a statement provided to media.
“The matter has been referred to Professional Standards Command for review,” it said in a statement.
Police chokeholds across Australia have come under scrutiny since the death of George Floyd in the United States in 2020, who died after being restrained by a police officer for almost ten minutes.
In April this year, Queensland announced it would be banning the Lateral Vascular Neck Restraint after the death of an Aboriginal man in custody, a move that would fall in line with the rest of Australia.
At the time, it was reported that the restraint had been linked to four deaths in the state, and left one man in a vegetative state. However, the state reversed course in May, with Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll saying that “officers had always been allowed to use the move if necessary”.
“There has been no change in my decision for the use of LVNR,” she said.”If a person’s life is at risk an officer can use any force necessary to prevent grievous bodily harm or death. But in terms of training it as a use of force option, that has stopped.”
However, she said that Police no longer taught it as a use of force option during training.