An incident involving a NSW man captured on police bodycam footage has raised questions about pandemic restrictions and police behaviour during the harsh Covid-19 lockdowns.
59-year-old Steve Forkin found himself in a heated confrontation with law enforcement officers in a park in Coffs Harbour, with footage from police body-worn cameras tendered into evidence during his ongoing trial.
Steve was walking alone in the park within the permitted 5km radius from his home as part of his regular exercise routine when he was approached by a Senior Constable from Coffs Harbour police station.
The officer demanded to know why Steve was out of his home, and when Steve refused to show his ID, the situation escalated, with threats of arrest being made.
In a compelling and emotional exchange, Steve, who said he has a family history of suffering at the hands of the Nazi regime, expressed his concerns about the erosion of rights and the growing police presence during the pandemic.
While some may not agree with his actions, many see Steve's willingness to stand up against perceived injustice as an act of bravery, delivered in a measured manner.
The situation took a turn when a junior officer's body camera inadvertently captured a conversation among officers, suggesting a questionable motive behind Steve's arrest.
The conversation indicated that police didn't have a clear motive for his arrest, only deciding after the event what offence had been committed and seemingly deciding to charge him with both hindering and allegedly breaching Covid-19 restrictions as punishment.
After nearly two years of fighting in court, the hindering charge was eventually dropped, leaving the alleged breach as the sole charge in the ongoing trial.
Steve's court date is set for December 8th, and the outcome will be closely monitored.
The incident has raised questions about the balance between public safety and personal liberties during a crisis as well as the responsibility of law enforcement officers in upholding democratic values.
While the mainstream media has been reluctant to share this footage, it is now in the hands of the public, who can draw their own conclusions about the incident and its implications.