A man critical of Victoria Police's response to the Covid-19 pandemic has revealed a harrowing ordeal he faced during Melbourne's last lockdown in 2021.
Rohan Brown, who was lawfully exercising by walking his dog in a park, noticed a white van approaching him. To his astonishment, heavily armed police officers swiftly emerged from the van, apprehending him at gunpoint without warning.
Brown recounted being forcibly taken to back to his house and later transported to the city for questioning, which led to his prolonged imprisonment.
Startlingly, he only received formal charges nine days after his arrest, including allegations of intimidating police and sending offensive emails.
Throughout his 160-night stay in prison, he endured isolation and quarantine, lasting nearly five months.
Frustratingly, the mainstream media failed to report on the heavy-handed arrest and subsequent detention, with minimal coverage only appearing after Brown's bail hearing in the Supreme Court.
Brown said his attempts to engage media outlets, including prominent journalists like John Silvester and Mark Butler, proved futile, highlighting a worrying trend of disinterest and reluctance to challenge the actions of law enforcement.
When asked about the excessive use of force during his arrest, Brown emphasised that he had never posed a physical threat to anyone.
He firmly believed that a less confrontational approach, such as a simple request to accompany the police to the station, would have sufficed. Instead, the intimidating display of force was employed to instill fear and suppress dissent — a tactic he believes was widespread during the Covid-19 crisis.
He attributed the lack of police accountability to a flawed system that allowed officers to investigate themselves, coupled with limited oversight from agencies like the under-resourced IBAC.
Brown aptly compared the situation to having children mark their friends' tests, creating an environment where accountability is virtually non-existent.