Another day of Victoria’s stage four lockdown, another ridiculous conspiracy theory gaining traction on social media only to be debunked. And the cycle continues.
Police have rubbished a photograph shared by users on Twitter and Facebook suggesting there is something shady about the officers who arrested a pregnant woman in Ballarat for allegedly inciting protests in breach of the CHO’s COVID-19 restrictions.
The image was taken from a Facebook live stream recorded during the arrest and shared first on Instagram by a user with 13,000 followers who wrote: “What’s going on here Australia? We have detective sergeant Adrian Smith with a very odd looking badge here.”
He suggested that the coat of arms was missing and that it was “somehow blacked out”.
But as with most very loosely researched conspiracies, this one is way off the mark.
A police spokesman told news.com.au the badge is “a perfectly normal looking detective ID card”.
“Detectives are yellow, uniform police are blue,” he said.
“The silver coat of arms is reflective and will change appearance depending on the angle the light hits it.”
So there you have it. No specialist police unit. Nothing sinister. Just police carrying out an arrest, albeit an arrest that has garnered plenty of attention.
Zoe Buhler had her partner film her arrest yesterday and post it to Facebook where it has been viewed millions of times.
“What on earth? Excuse me, what on earth?” she is heard asking police during the arrest.
“I’m in my pyjamas. I have an ultrasound in an hour.”
She then told police she had not “broken any laws” by posting about the protest on Facebook, to which the officers responded that she had.
Ms Buhler has since been banned from posting on Facebook as one of her bail conditions but has been doing the rounds on radio on Thursday morning.
Speaking to 3AW, she claimed she “didn’t realise” the protest she is accused of organising wasn’t allowed.
“I was aware that the protest coming up in Melbourne wasn‘t permitted … but we’re in Stage 3 lockdown,” she said. “I had a bit of a bimbo moment.”
Later speaking on KIISFM, Ms Buhler said the arrest was “very overwhelming”.
Ms Buhler was granted bail and will face Ballarat Magistrates Court on January 25 next year.