A senior Victoria police officer has quit her job after condemning the heavy handed tactics being used in her state to enforce lockdown in an explosive interview.
Acting senior sergeant Krystle Mitchell announced she would be handing over her badge after 16 years with the police force during an interview with Discernable.
Acting sergeant Mitchell said she had watched the relationship deteriorate between the community and police officers while Melbourne was stuck in the longest and toughest lockdown in the world.
She claimed the heavy police presence had even made her nervous to walk on the street while she was wearing plain clothes.
‘When I am in plain clothes and out exercising, and when I walk past police, I have that same level of apprehension,’ she said.
Acting senior sergeant Krystle Mitchell announced she would be handing over her badge after 16 years with the police force during an interview with Discernable
Acting sergeant Mitchell said she had watched the relationship deteriorate between the community and police officers while Melbourne was stuck in the longest and toughest lockdown in the world
‘I have a medical exemption and I don’t wear a mask. My partner and I were out walking during our two hours of exercise on the weekend and there were police everywhere.
‘There was just police doing their ‘reassurance patrols’. They’re not ‘reassurance patrols’. You’re not reassuring anybody in the community. You’re scaring people that there are that many police in the community.’
Melbourne has been hit with stay-at-home orders six times since the pandemic began at the start of 2020.
Residents have endured a total 251 days of lockdown. The figure smashes the 244 day record held by Beunos Aires, Argentina.
Acting sergeant Mitchell said tensions had reached boiling point between the community and police officers.
‘It’s been growing since March 2020,’ she said. ‘The way in which we police now has completely changed.
‘And the vast majority of the police are on directions that are infringements on your every day liberties and rights to just freely live in a democratic society.’
Melbourne has been at the centre of several large-scale anti-vaccination and anti-lockdown rallies throughout the pandemic.
Demonstrations against mandatory vaccinations for construction workers turned ugly when hundreds of protestors clashed with police in September.
‘There’s this air of uncomfortability about it all,’ Acting sergeant Mitchell said.
‘I used to love doing foot patrols. I loved it. It was such a great way to connect with communities.’
Sergeant Mitchell claimed she would likely be dismissed by the police force because of the interview. She then made the decision to resign to get a headstart.
‘The consequences of me being here today is that I will be resigning from Victoria Police effective at the end of this interview because the consequences of me coming out publicly would be dismissal,’ she said.
Krystle Mitchell announced her resignation on social media following the interview with Discernable
Melbourne has been hit with stay-at-home orders six times since the pandemic began at the start of 2020
‘So I’m choosing to quit because I can’t remedy in my soul any more the way in which the organisation I love to work for is being used and the damage that it’s causing to the reputation of Victoria Police and the damage it is causing the community.’
Acting sergeant Mitchell officially announced her resignation in a Facebook post.
‘I am currently unemployed – consequences of my action of speaking out against the Daniel Andrews administration.’
Victoria Police said in a statement the comments made in the interview did not reflect the police force.
‘The comments in this interview in no way reflect the views of Victoria Police,’ a spokesperson said.
‘For the past 18 months, our members have been working tirelessly to enforce chief health officer directions aimed at slowing the spread of coronavirus to keep all Victorians healthy and to save lives.
Residents have endured a total 251 days of lockdown. The figure smashes the 244 day record held by Beunos Aires, Argentina
Melbourne has been at the centre of several large-scale anti-vaccination and anti-lockdown rallies throughout the pandemic (pictured, protestors at a rally on September 21)
Victoria Police acknowledged that it could not ‘pick and choose what laws it enforces’.
‘We acknowledge this has been an extremely difficult time for all Victorians who have had to give up so much,’ the spokesperson said.
‘Just like the community, Victoria Police looks forward to the easing of restrictions and the eventual return to pre-Covid life.’
Victorian government minister Danny Pearson downplayed the video when he was questioned by reporters during Saturday’s daily Covid-19 press conference.
‘To this individual officer, what I would say is I thank them for their service,’ he said.
‘I don’t know how long they have served for, but I thank them on behalf of all Victorians for the service they have given to keep our state safe.’
Police arrest a demonstrator during a rally along St Kilda Beach in Melbourne on September 25