A Melbourne man has filmed his incredible 22 minute argument with police after refusing to wear a face mask in public.
The pedestrian was stopped by the two police officers on Thursday after they spotted him in the street without a mask.
In footage captured by the pedestrian, the officers can be seen politely asking him why he is not wearing a mask and even offering to give him one.
But instead of complying with their request, the man went on a 22-minute rant where he complained about his ‘lack of freedom’.
The officers explained to the man they were willing to use their discretion and not issue him an on-the-spot fine as long as he gave them his name but he still refused to comply
The footage begins with the female police officer offering to give the man a mask but he refused to take it.
He told her he ‘can’t breathe in the damn thing’ because he has light asthma.
‘I personally don’t want to wear it,’ he said.
‘We’ve gone four months without wearing mask and now we’ve all of a sudden got to wear them.
‘Are people dying everywhere? Are you seeing a lot of sick people? Are you having issues with sick people dying on the street just randomly from this deadly disease?
‘More people die from the flu than this.’
The officers explained they were willing to use their discretion and not issue him an on-the-spot fine as long as he gave them his name but he still refused to comply.
‘I don’t really want to wear a mask today, that’s the whole thing,’ the man said.
The female officer then asked: ‘So you’re just blatantly refusing to wear one?’
‘Yes,’ he replied.
He told them he would not wear a mask as he believed he was not breaking a law.
Police were forced to debate with a man for 22 minutes as he argued he didn’t need to wear a mask for a medical reason, while refusing to provide his details
WEARING FACE MASKS IN VICTORIA: THE LAW
Wearing masks in public became mandatory in Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire on Thursday
Under Victoria’s State of Emergency, police have additional powers to issue directions
Phillip Gallo, from Rose Lawyers and conveyances, said police had the right to fine those without a lawful excuse not to wear a mask
‘The government has certain powers to make directives and enforce that,’ he said
Victoria Police Minister vowed on Friday to enforce the rules
The pedestrian then complained that police were following the chief health officer’s direction.
‘So just he says whatever and you guys just enforce it?’
The male officer then replied: ‘Would you rather we do nothing?’
The pedestrian then continued to rant about the ‘stupid laws’ and his ‘lack of freedom’.
‘Mate, you’re acting like it’s just you, everyone’s in the same boat,’ the female officer said.
The trio continue to discuss the rules around wearing a mask before the video ends with the man agreeing to give his name and address to the officers.
Wearing masks in public became mandatory in Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire on Thursday in a bid to stop a second wave of coronavirus from devastating Victoria.
Residents face a $200 fine if they are in public without a mask without a lawful reason, but some wrongly believe they are immune from obeying police directives.
Phillip Gallo, from Rose Lawyers and conveyances, told Daily Mail Australia police had the right to fine those who weren’t wearing a mask under the powers associated with Victoria’s State of Emergency.
‘It’s not technically a law that’s been legislated but it’s under the power scheme of emergency,’ he said.
‘The government has certain powers to make directives and enforce that.’
He said people who refuse to wear a mask can be fined under the current restrictions.
A group of people wear face masks as they walk along Bourke Street in Melbourne
Two women in face masks go for a walk across Princes Bridge in Melbourne on Thursday
Victoria Police Minister Lisa Neville also had a stern word for people trying to ignore police directives.
‘Be in no doubt, whether you are trying to get through a roadblock, trying to get away with not wearing a mask, whether you’re trying to have a party, Victoria Police will be there and fine you if you do the wrong thing,’ she said.
‘Victoria Police will continue to focus on those blatant, obvious, and deliberate (rule breaches).
‘Anyone out there who decides they can try and test the rules or they want to test Victoria Police or they want to try and encourage other people to breach the rules, that does nothing for Victorians.
‘Be in no doubt, Victoria Police will continue to enforce these rules as we go forward.’
People seen wearing masks in St Kilda as the Victorian Premier confirmed 300 new coronavirus cases on Friday and six deaths
VICTORIA’S LATEST COVID-19 NUMBERS:
* 403 new cases, the 18th consecutive day of a triple-digit increase, taking active cases to 3630, an increase of 3570 in six weeks.
* Five more deaths, bringing the state’s toll to 49 and the national figure to 133. Most deaths in a day for any state.
* The latest deaths are three aged care residents – a woman in her 70s, two men in their 80s and 90s, as well as two men aged 50 and 70.
* 201 people in hospital and with 40 in intensive care.
* 1,413,115 tests have been done in the state since January 1, with 27,151 on Wednesday.
* Of the new cases, 69 are connected to known outbreaks and 334 are under investigation.
* This is Victoria’s third-highest daily case total, after 484 on Wednesday and 428 on Friday.
CLUSTERS TO WATCH:
* 293 cases among residents of public housing towers in Flemington and North Melbourne (increase of two since Wednesday)
* 60 linked to various public housing towers in Carlton (increase of 3)
* 182 cases linked to Al-Taqwa College
* 73 at St Basil’s Homes for the Aged in Fawkner (an increase of 4)
* 67 linked to Estia Health in Ardeer (increase of 13)
* 55 linked to Menarock Life aged care in Essendon
* 34 linked to Estia Health in Heidelberg (increase of 8)
* 33 linked to Arcare Aged Care in Craigieburn (increase of 3)
* 21 cases linked to Baptcare Wyndham Lodge in Werribee (increase of one)
* 20 linked to Embracia Aged Care Moonee Valley in Avondale Heights (increase of two)
* 72 linked to Somerville Retail Services in Tottenham (increase of 12)
* 58 linked to JBS in Brooklyn (increase of 11)
* 29 linked to Australian Lamb Company in Colac (increase of 12)
* 21 linked to Clever Kids Childcare in Ashburton
* 10 linked to Bertocchi Smallgoods in Thomastown