The former youth inmate at the centre of the Northern Territory juvenile justice royal commission has posted video to social media from inside a police cell after he was arrested alongside his mother in Alice Springs.
Former Don Dale Youth Detention Centre detainee Dylan Voller and his mum Joanne were among eight people – aged between 14 and 47 – apprehended on Friday after a protest against youth prisons and Aboriginal deaths in custody turned violent.
The group was blocking traffic at a busy intersection on the Stuart Highway when officers pushed several people to the ground and took them away in paddy wagons.
Voller posted a video to Facebook while inside the Alice Springs police watch house, where he apologised for letting people down – particularly his sister, Kirra.
“Sorry for putting you under stress,” he said.
“I guess I’ll just have to go back and do my time, take it on the chin… this is my f*** up and I’ll take it, but I didn’t get locked up for nothing. Black lives matter.”
Voller was teargassed, spithooded and shackled to a restraint chair while behind bars as a teenager in a scandal that sparked the NT youth justice inquiry.
The 20-year-old provided a running commentary of the rally for more than 15 minutes before officers realised he had his phone in the cell and ordered him to turn it off.
“Police went to grab mum and slammed her on the ground, so I just went to walk over, and then they jumped on me,” he said.
Fellow protester Hilary Tyler said officers arrested four adults and two kids after violently “targeting people”, while footage shows one policeman kicking a photographer.
“I saw this one 14-year-old kid being tackled to the ground,” she told AAP.
“I was kicked by the cops, I was pushed… pretty much everyone there was manhandled. It was disgusting.
“We were holding the road but we were doing it peacefully… they initiated the violence.”
Footage shows several police forcefully restraining people on the ground and threatening them with pepper spray, while one protester was crash tackled after trying to push a policeman.
NT Police issued a statement on Friday evening saying the obstruction of traffic was outside the organised protest that had been arranged and put motorists and pedestrians at risk.
“Police will review footage of the incident and take action as appropriate,” the statement said.
But offenders were expected to be released shortly, after being served with infringement notices for obstructing traffic and disorderly conduct. Diversion would be considered for youths.