Trouble On St Kilda Beach As Far-Right Group Films Soccer Game
A video taken by a member of a far-right group has emerged on social media showing a group of youths of African appearance playing soccer at St Kilda Beach before tensions escalate and police intervene.
Several of the young men shown in the footage, filmed just behind the beach, ask repeatedly for the person filming to stop.
"Why are you recording people," one of the men asks, after another attempts to grab the camera.
"It's a public area, I can film anywhere I want," the person behind the camera, believed to be from a far-right group, responds.
Officers from Victoria Police, who were forced to step in during the incident, can be heard telling the group they were "escalating" the situation by filming.
"Your presence is escalating the situation," the policeman can be heard saying.
"My grandfather fought for this country, I'm allowed to film," a man, believed to be far-right supporter Neil Erikson can be heard saying to an officer.
The incident is understood to have resulted in an injured officer, with police using capsicum spray on one man, the ABC reported.
Footage shows officers holding one man, who appears to be vomiting, to the ground as he is arrested.
The ABC reported police had interviewed and released a 25-year-old man who is expected to be charged over the incident.
10 daily contacted Victoria Police about the incident but they declined to comment.
On Saturday Victoria Police Minister Lisa Neville slammed the incident saying police requirements apply to all Victorians.
"People who attempt to incite, whatever their background is... violence or commit violence or don't follow police rules should be held to account," Neville said.
"Racism itself does not make any of us safer."
It comes just one day after extra police patrols were sent around Melbourne's Chelsea Beach after three incidents involving a group of youths of African appearance who allegedly attacked and robbed beachgoers.
A 19-year-old man sitting on the beach was hit over the head with a glass bottle, police said. Mobile phones and purses were also stolen from the unattended bags of swimmers.
Police were called to the beach hours earlier due to an altercation involving a jetskiier.
No arrests were made.
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