Victoria police officer appears to stomp on man’s head during arrest


A Victorian Police car patrols the streets in Melbourne, Australia

image copyrightGetty Images

image captionThe man’s family have accused police of using excessive force during the arrest in Melbourne, Australia

A man is in a coma after he was allegedly hit by a police car and kicked in the head by an officer during an arrest in Melbourne, Australia.

The man, 32, was admitted to intensive care after the arrest near a hospital on Sunday.

He was being treated for mental health issues at the hospital but left, prompting staff to call the police.

Victoria Police said the man was behaving erratically and assaulted an officer.

A video of the arrest appears to show one policeman stomp on the man’s head before he and five other officers pin him to the ground.

Victoria Police said its watchdog would investigate the arrest, which one government minister described as “concerning”. No action has been taken against the officers involved.

Calling for an independent investigation into the arrest, the man’s father accused the officers of using excessive force.

“It is like watching a video from America or Beirut,”

he told the Herald Sun newspaper.

“Police are not above the law, they should be held accountable. They were kicking him and he wasn’t even fighting back. It was extremely excessive.”

What does the video show?

Footage broadcast by the Seven News TV channel shows the man walking in the middle of the road, waving his arms in front of a police car.

The man turns his back and walks away slowly, before being hit by the police car from behind.

In another video, taken several minutes later, an officer stands over the man and appears to kick his head before wrestling him to the ground with the help of colleagues.

What did authorities say?

Victoria Police said its officers were called to reports of a man behaving erratically in Epping, a suburb of Melbourne, at about 16:10 (06:10 GMT) on Sunday.

“During the highly dynamic incident a police officer was assaulted and [pepper spray] was deployed before the man was arrested and subsequently taken to hospital for assessment,” a police spokesperson said.

“Upon arrival the male allegedly became aggressive and damaged a police vehicle while attempting to avoid arrest.”

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Police Minister Lisa Neville said body-camera footage of the arrest would be reviewed by the Professional Standards Command, which oversees the conduct of Victorian police officers.

Ms Neville said the officers were in “difficult circumstances”, but added there were “concerning aspects of the arrest, particularly at the end”.

What did the man’s lawyer say?

Jeremy King told ABC News that his client had not committed a crime and was in a “vulnerable” state at the time of his arrest.

“Really he’s a person that the police should be dealing with in a very unique way,” Mr King said.

He said doctors were still assessing the extent of his client’s injuries.

The lawyer said the video of the arrest, which was “sickening to watch”, had left the man’s family in “deep distress”.

Related Topics

  • Melbourne

  • Australia
  • Victoria



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