Fact Checking Claims That Melbourne Protesters Were ‘Shot in the Back’

A viral tweet claims to show anti-lockdown protesters in Melbourne, Australia, being “shot in the back as they run away from [the police].”

Hundreds of protesters gathered in Melbourne—the capital of the Australian state of Victoria—several days this week to protest vaccine mandates and lockdown measures. In some instances, the protests turned violent and participants clashed with the police. To disperse the crowds, Victoria Police utilized rubber bullets, among other tools.

“I can confirm that Victoria Police were definitely not using live ammunition,” Alex Day, a representative for the Victoria Police, told The Dispatch Fact Check. Day shared a statement from the police department, which said that the officers “were forced to use crowd control equipment including pepper balls, foam baton rounds, smoke round and stinger grenades which deploy rubber pellets.” These tactics have been criticized as police brutality in some corners. 

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