on air now

Police officer criticised for ‘aggressive’ warning to young protester

Natalie Peters & Erin Molan
Article image for Police officer criticised for ‘aggressive’ warning to young protester

NSW Police have been criticised after a video emerged of an officer issuing move along directions to a young protester.

The incident took place on Thursday as police issued warnings to a number of people gathered outside Kirribilli House to protest the Prime Minister’s absence during the current bushfire crisis.

The video shows the officer bending down to read the order to a 13-year-old girl, who was visibly upset and crying. Some have criticised the officer for being too “aggressive” during the interaction.

See the video below

But Rita Panahi tells Natalie Peters and Erin Molan she believes the officer behaved appropriately.

“I don’t see him as aggressive, I saw him bending down trying to be at the same height as her so he wasn’t towering over her.

“I’m at a loss to understand why he needed to address a child at all, given her father’s standing right there. Perhaps the father asked him to address the child.

“The person I blame for that child being distressed is the parent who brought her along there.”

Erin Molan agrees with Rita, saying she doesn’t understand the outrage.

“I have absolutely no issue with the way the policeman interacted with her. I thought the tone in his voice was very friendly, he even used her name.”

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview


Natalie Peters & Erin Molan