‘What is this, China?’: Sam blasts cops
Sam Armytage has lashed Victoria Police after a video showed two elderly women being threatened with arrest for sitting on a park bench.
Video of the dramatic confrontation went viral on Sunday after the clip was shared online and had the Sunrise host comparing the actions of Victorian Police to "China" and calling the situation "ridiculous".
The video showed the two women seated in a park as they were surrounded by police, as they asked the officers: "On what grounds am I under arrest? This is unlawful."
She then went on to raise her voice, again questioning why she was under arrest.
A female officer replied: "For failing to provide your name and address".
The other woman had been recording the encounter, until a male officer walked behind her and appeared to snatch the device from her hand.
"Excuse me, you have no right to seize my property," she yelled.
"It is the snatching of the phone," Armytage said. "What is this, China? You are getting arrested for filming things?
"I guess they were not meant to be sitting there under the rules. Who is making these rules? It is ridiculous."
Armytage was joined by Sharri Markson, host of Sky News program Sharri and investigative reporter at The Australian, and former Senator Derryn Hinch.
Mr Hinch said he was "on the cop's side".
"We are all doing it tough down here. If they ask you your name and address, you must provide it. That is the law," he said.
"I don't care if you are 17 or 70, by doing what they were doing, and protesting last week, you're putting not only your own lives at risk, putting my life, and everyone's lives at risk."
Markson disagreed, saying it was an over-reaction and nobody's life was in danger by the women sitting on a park bench.
"Two women sitting on a park bench, I'm sorry they are not risking your life sitting on a park bench," Markson said. "This is just too heavy-handed."
Victoria Police confirmed to NCA NewsWire they were aware of the vision.
"Victoria Police is aware of vision circulating where police appear to be attempting to obtain identification details of two females," a spokesperson said.
"Without further details around this incident such as the time, date, location and details of the police officers involved, we are unable to provide further comment.
"Generally speaking, it is an offence to not provide your name and details to police when they believe you have either committed or are about to commit an offence.
"As part of their powers, police have the ability to remove items from a person's possession where necessary to effect an arrest."
Originally published as 'What is this, China?': Sam blasts cops