Vegan activist ‘tackled’ by police
A VEGAN activist has slammed Victorian police after claiming an officer unexpectedly tackled her to the ground as she tried to film a cow injured from a cattle truck crash on Tuesday.
Leah Doellinger uploaded footage of her attempting to comfort a cow that she says was dying on the side of the road after a B-double carrying the livestock tipped over near Koo Wee Rup.
A number of cattle were strewn across the road, with many having to be euthanised due to their injuries.
In the video, which she posted to social media, Ms Doellinger can be seen attempting to pat the cow as a man continually asks her to leave, telling her the cow was dead.
"The man standing there was not a police officer who was asking me to leave. He poked her straight in the eye as if to prove she was dead but her legs started to move when he did that," she wrote alongside the video.
"You can clearly see in the footage he keeps moving in front of her legs moving so that I cannot film."
The 28-year-old activist said the cow had been shot but was clearly still breathing and moving around.
She claimed there was no officers there when she arrived and no police had asked her to leave at this point.
"Upon checking my footage I was able to track that within 43 seconds of me standing beside her a police officer came out of nowhere and threw me to the ground," she wrote.
Ms Doellinger was part of a trio filming the crash. Footage taken by one of her friends shows an officer arresting her and pushing her to the ground as she screams, "Don't touch me."
The other woman can be heard yelling, "Get off her. She's not resisting arrest."
Ms Doellinger said she was left in complete shock by the sudden arrest, claiming she was given no warning before being "physically thrown around by a grown man".
She claimed she was injured when the officer pinned her to the ground. She said the heavy-handed arrest resulted in her earrings being pulled out and glasses broken, wrists being cut and bruised and her dress being ripped.
"I was dragged to the side of the road handcuffed with my dress ripped open and my bra and breasts revealed to the five police officers, farmers and the passing by traffic," the post read.
"The police officer refused to show us his name badge and made smart arse remarks that he misplaced it without looking.
"This was not a protest, hence my clothing. Joanne and I actually were going to go for breakfast before becoming aware of the accident."
The activist slammed the police for their use of "excessive and unnecessary force" and hit back at the online trolls and their "stupid comments".
However, police have claimed two activists were arrested and charged for "hindering police" at the scene.
Footage leading up to the arrest shows Ms Doellinger and two others confronted by police and asked to move away from the scene, according to the Herald Sun.
They were reportedly escorted down the freeway away from the crash site. The group continued to film as they drove off and later came across a cow laying in the grass, which is where Ms Doellinger was reportedly arrested.
Following the crash, Victoria police said the remaining, uninjured cattle were being herded into nearby paddocks.
The 42-year-old Warrnambool woman driving the truck was the only person in the vehicle and suffered minor injuries but was not taken to hospital.
The cause of the crash is being investigated.