Fierce backlash to woman arrested in car
Dramatic video of a woman being dragged from her car by a police officer at a coronavirus checkpoint in Victoria has been met with fierce backlash.
In footage shared on social media by Natalie Bonett, the incident escalated after police told the woman her phone wasn't permitted to be on a car charger mount on the windshield.
Ms Bonett, who said she normally drives through the checkpoint everyday without issue, is heard questioning the officer why she has to get out of the car over a phone charger.
"That's not the problem anymore … The problem is now that you won't state your name," an officer can be heard saying.
Ms Bonett, 29, then refuses to exit the vehicle saying she didn't "feel safe".
"You're safe, don't you worry about that," a police officer can be heard saying.
An officer can then be seen opening the driver door, shocking Ms Bonett who yells "what are you doing?" and "get off me".
Ms Bonett uploaded footage on Facebook last night, which has since garnered more than 4000 comments and 5000 shares.
Some users slammed Ms Bonett, accusing her of being a "sovereign citizen" and orchestrating the incident for attention, while others defended the woman and said police went too far.
"Well done to the police. Obey the rules," one user wrote.
Another said, "Overreacted knowing she was recording. Should have just done as she was told."
Another comment: "No one supports you."
Someone else questioned why she was recording in the first place. "It's like you were expecting an incident to happen? You've said you know the process as you travel though there everyday, so you knew what to expect, you knew what would happen."
But there were also people jumping to Ms Bonett's defence.
"The sad thing about this is regardless of it being actual or fake, I would not have believed Australian police would behave this way 6 months ago," one person said, while another wrote "I am so HORRIFIED this happened to you".
Another added: "For all of you that are shaming this woman, the police officer had no right to touch her and forcibly remove her."
Victorian Police has since released a statement about the incident.
"At the checkpoint in relation to her mobile phone obstructing her view due to its position on the windscreen and explained that this was an offence," a spokesman said.
"The woman refused to remove her phone from the windscreen."
The police spokesman alleged that Ms Bonett also refused to supply her details and driver's licence, which are offences under the Road Safety Act.
"The woman was warned that if she did not provide her details, she would be arrested," the spokesman said. "She still refused and was asked by police to get out of her car. When she refused this request, she was taken from the car by officers and taken into custody.
"The Wallan woman was later released and is expected to be charged on summons with driving with obscured vision, fail to produce licence, fail to state her name and address, resist arrest, assault police and offensive language."
Ms Bonett told her version of events in a lengthy caption alongside the viral video, saying she was "shaking".
"The police officer told me that it was against the law to have my phone on a car charger mount on my windshield," she wrote in a public Facebook post.
"I was in disbelief. He then attempted to get into my vehicle at which I started recording
"They called for backup and had four police officers grab me by the legs and pull me out of my car and arrest me.
"While trying to cuff me they had their knees in my back and couldn't breathe.
"My blood is boiling."
Ms Bonett has since told the Herald Sun that four officers constricted her airways during the dramatic arrest.
The 29-year-old shared pictures of bruising she claims she was left with from the incident.
"Before I recorded them (the police) I said I would show my licence, and I always do, I just wanted to talk to someone else so I (felt) comfortable," she told the Herald Sun.
Originally published as Fierce backlash to woman arrested in car