NSW Police have arrested a 16-year-old boy at a Black Lives Matter protest in Sydney, after he allegedly threw an empty bottle at officers.
The rally, which was peaceful and adhered to social distancing recommendations, gathered at The Domain before marching down George St to Hyde Park.
It was at Hyde Park where the boy was arrested. As he was dragged away by police, protesters could be heard chanting “let him go”.
In a statement, NSW Police said was taken to to Day Street Police Station and “will be dealt with under the Young Offenders Act”.
A man is taken away by police after throwing an empty bottle at officers in Hyde Park following the Sydney #BlackLivesMatter protest pic.twitter.com/T1paSmTMbu— Heath Parkes-Hupton (@heath_parkes) July 5, 2020
People changing “let him go” as it appears police take away a man at Hyde Park post Sydney BLM protest. #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/ed1esgQghO— Madison Watt (@madison_m_watt) July 5, 2020
It was the second arrest made at the rally, after a racist heckler had been taken away by police hours earlier.
Shortly after the latter incident, police were seen interrupting speakers who were in the process of closing the rally.
Police on loud hailer interrupt Dunghutti man and rally organiser Paul Silva while he’s asking everyone to home and requesting “no violence” from the crowd. “We all want to get home safe.” #BlackLivesMatter rally #Sydney #daviddungayjr @CentralNewsUTS pic.twitter.com/3gl6aTg5fT— Wendy John (@WendyJohn8) July 5, 2020
The heavy police presence and rough arrest were called out by many who found it particularly inappropriate at a Black Lives Matter rally against police brutality.
“We are protesting this weekend to stop Black deaths in custody,” Lizzy Jarrett, Gumbaynggirr Activist and co-chair of the rally, said in a statement on Friday.
“White supremacy and racist police violence is endemic in Australia – we march for justice for David Dungay Jnr, Tane Chatfield and many more killed at the hands of the Australian judicial system.”
Police didn’t issue any penalty infringement notices related to social distancing or any other aspects of the Public Health Act, with organisers once again providing free facemasks and hand sanitiser.
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