‘Highhanded’ Vic police arrest of pregnant woman ‘won’t win hearts and minds’

Published on September 3, 2020 by

Barrister Greg Barns says Victorian police won’t “win hearts and minds” with their highhanded arrest of a pregnant woman for allegedly helping to organise and anti-lockdown protest.

“I don’t think anyone could conclude it is anything other than over-policing,” he told Sky News.

“You’ve got a woman who’s eight months pregnant … she said she would remove the offending post from social media and police acted in the way that she did.

“Police have enormous discretion under COVID laws to make arrests and to do things that they wouldn’t otherwise normally do.

“It would be very rare for police to go into a person’s house and say we’re going to stop you from encouraging people to attend a protest.

Mr Barns said the public expect police to act “judiciously and carefully” and to avoid ramping up a situation where “the person has been nothing but cooperative”.

Authorities charged Ms Buhler for incitement over a rally against Victoria’s stage four lockdowns via a Facebook post.

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