(CNN)Police in Australia have referred an arrest to its standards unit after footage emerged appearing to show a male officer pushing a woman up against a wall with his hands on her throat on Monday.
Woman without mask allegedly pushed against wall by police in Australia
Police said in a statement that officers were patrolling on Wellington Street in Melbourne, Victoria state, about 5 p.m. (3 a.m. ET) when they saw a 21-year-old woman not wearing a face covering, which residents are currently required to wear while outside to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Police said they decided to arrest the woman after she failed to provide her name and address.
In video footage of the incident which is circulating online, the woman can be heard shouting "you're choking me."
"Get the f**k off me," the woman adds, repeatedly shouting at the male officer during the restraint.
She later kicks out at a female officer who attempts to intervene.
The male officer then pushes the woman to the ground and pins her down. "What have I done?" she asks repeatedly as he straddles her on the pavement. "What are you doing?" she adds.
A man filming the incident up close can be heard telling the policeman: "Get off her, get off her."
The man, identified as the woman's boyfriend by CNN affiliate 7News, tells the officer the woman has an exemption for not wearing a mask.
He later told 7News: "The way that they came up to us all intimidating is itself enough." He added: "They're meant to make us feel protected, right? We don't feel protected."
"When they're just looking for a fight and just looking to fine people and just looking to be bullies, that's not lawful," he said.
It is currently mandatory to wear a face covering in parts of Victoria state. Under strict coronavirus measures, those caught without a face covering face a fine of 200 AUD (about $140 USD).
"Police made the decision to arrest the woman after she failed to provide her name and address. She also did not state she had an exemption for not wearing a face covering," said police in a statement.
Police said the woman turned "physically aggressive," kicking a female officer who was later taken to hospital for observation.
"The woman continued to resist arrest and had to be taken to ground before being arrested," police added.
Police confirmed the woman's identity at a police station and she has been charged with resisting police and assaulting police. She was bailed and will appear in court at a later date, police said.
However, she was not fined for not wearing a face mask because she has an exemption, police said.
"The arrest has been referred to Professional Standards Command for oversight," said the statement.
The Professional Standards Command is responsible for handling complaints about the conduct of police officers.
On August 2, Victoria state premier Daniel Andrews declared a "state of disaster" and announced a slew of measures in an attempt to suppress soaring coronavirus infection rates.
Melbourne, the second-largest city in Australia, entered a city-wide lockdown for six weeks, with non-essential businesses shut down.
On August 9, Victoria state recorded 19 new coronavirus deaths, the highest single-day increase in fatalities since the outbreak of the pandemic, according to the state's Department of Health and Human Services.