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Disturbing video has surfaced on social media showing police in Sydney, Australia, essentially ripping a crying, screaming child from his mother’s arms as several cops moved in to arrest her for apparently protesting a coronavirus stay-at-home order.
The first part of the video shows a woman, later identified as 36-year-old cosmetic nurse Renee Altakrity, conversing with a female police officer about her protest.
Altakrity is seen wearing a yellow-colored sign that reads, “If you don’t know your rights, you don’t have any. Magna Carta.”
Reports from Australian media said that the nurse brought her young son with her to protest with about 40 other people representing the group, Exercise My Rights.
#BREAKING: Mother ARRESTED and her child ripped from her arms in Sydney today.
For breaching lockdown laws.
That she was protesting. pic.twitter.com/lBgaRplHAn
— Avi Yemini 🇦🇺🇮🇱 (@OzraeliAvi) May 9, 2020
“I don’t know how you guys are going home in honor tonight and trying to infringe me with a notice which I don’t consent to because we’re doing nothing wrong,” she says. “You guys should be here holding the signs with us, defending us. I don’t consent to what you’re doing.”
“We’re doing nothing wrong … We’re not acting in aggression … Am I under arrest?” Altakrity continued.
“No, I’m just trying to speak to you … I am asking for your name because I do believe you are committing an offense,” the officer pressed.
“I’m here fighting for not just myself and my kids, but for your children too,” Altakrity said.
Moments later the altercation turned violent, as several officers can be seen attempting to arrest Altakrity and wrest her screaming son from her arms as he wailed.
“Why is she under arrest? She’s not done anything wrong,” one woman is heard yelling.
“Leave her alone … What are you proving?” another man objects.
“Out of everybody they grab a woman with a child,” he added.
“You’re scaring your son,” the female officer can be heard saying as Altakrity’s son screamed and cried.
“Mummy is not going,” the boy said. “Leave mummy alone!”
Police eventually issued her an infringement notice for violating social distancing requirements issued due to the coronavirus pandemic, which carries a $1,000 fine.
Altakrity posted video clips of her arrest and the moment her crying son was ripped from her arms to the group’s Facebook page. News Corp Australia reported that Altakrity also posted a video to her own Facebook page, blasting the officers and her arrest.
“Unlawful, inhumane – shame on you all! I held my I integrity even when you ripped my son from my arms,” she wrote.
In an interview with the Daily Mail following the disturbing incident, Altakrity defended her decision to bring her son with her.
“My son wanted to come with me,” she said. “My children are very opinionated, they probably get that from me, but he had every right to be there.”
“The point for me exercising our rights is to stick up for ourselves and have freedom of speech,” she continued.
“My son wanted to come with me. He said: “Mum can I come? I’d love to put a sign up about the fact that I want to go back to the skate parks and not feel scared,’” she said.
“I don’t keep my kids in the shadows… my children are very aware of what is going on and I think it is very important our children know how to handle themselves and have a freedom of speech, even at four,” Altakrity added.
Asked specifically why she was protesting, specifically, she said that she believes Prime Minister Scott Morrison has taken a “Gestapo” approach in implementing measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Though admitting she’s no “doctor or scientist,” she nevertheless believes that a better approach would have been to allow healthy people to continue living their lives while quarantining sick people.
“There is no reason healthy people shouldn’t be allowed to go about their lives. That’s all I’ve got to say about it,” she said.
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