Police have stated that they were appalled at the acts displayed in Melbourne today as clashes erupted during a protest involving various opposing groups.
Amidst the chaos, a 20-year-old man from Werribee was arrested for assaulting police officers and discharging a missile. The incident took place in a designated area of the Melbourne CBD as part of Operation Omni, where police effectively utilized their powers to control the situation.
Incidents of hate and prejudice have no place in society, and everyone has the right to feel safe in their community. Recognizing the impact of such acts, the police were determined to ensure safety, prevent clashes, and deescalate any violent behavior during the protest. As the situation escalated, police made two arrests.
The first arrest was that of a 30-year-old man from Doreen, who was charged with the theft of a body-worn camera and assaulting police officers. The individual is currently assisting the police with their inquiries.
The second arrest involved a 20-year-old man from Werribee, who was charged with the discharge of a missile and assaulting police officers. Like the Doreen man, he is also assisting the police with their inquiries.
During the course of the protest, one police officer experienced primary exposure from the deployment of Oleoresin Capsicum (OC), commonly known as pepper spray. The officer received immediate medical treatment on the scene. To maintain public safety and prevent further incidents, the Victoria Police invoked the Control of Weapons Act 1990, designating a specific area in the Melbourne CBD for Operation Omni.
This allowed the police to utilize the powers granted under the designated area provisions, effectively diffusing the situation and ensuring the safety of both protesters and law enforcement personnel.
Incidents like these serve as a reminder that hate and prejudice must be confronted and eradicated from society. The police, alongside the wider community, are committed to upholding the principles of safety, inclusivity, and equality, ensuring that everyone can live without fear of targeted and threatening behavior.
The investigations into the arrested individuals’ actions and their involvement in the protest continue, as the police work towards bringing justice and maintaining the peace within the community.