Deejai Barker was walking out of a Sydney shopping centre when she was approached by two officers who asked her why she wasn’t wearing a mask, despite having an exemption
A single mum who filmed a fiery confrontation with officers over not wearing a mask to the shops has a history with police – as officers warn ‘further action’ may be taken against her.
Deejai Barker, 26, shared video of a confrontation she had with NSW Police officers out the front of a shopping centre on the Central Coast about midday on Wednesday.
The clip showed a furious Ms Barker telling NSW Police officers that she was exempt from wearing a mask because of a health condition.
A constable then sought to arrest Ms Barker and search her handbag for the exemption.
She erupted and the officer then admitted he had crossed the line, apologised and suggested that she complain to the local police station.
However, Daily Mail Australia can reveal the saga may not have ended in the car park of Bateau Bay Village shopping centre.
A NSW Police Force spokeswoman said ‘inquiries into the incident remain ongoing and further action has not been ruled out.’ And Wednesday was an unfortunate day for Ms Barker for separate police-related reasons.
Ms Barker filmed her encounter with the two male officers in the carpark of Bateau Bay shopping centre on the NSW Central Coast
In a remarkable coincidence, she was fined that same day by Wyong Local Court over a similar run in with officers last October, when she turned up to an ex-partner’s home over a dispute.
A police statement of facts tendered in court accused Ms Barker of being ‘hysterical’, taunting officers and screaming at them ‘get f***ed, I don’t care, arrest me.’
Ms Barker was charged with two counts of resisting or hindering police during arrest, and one of offensive conduct in an enclosed space.
She did not show up at court, was convicted in her absence and fined $600 over the three offences.
That is triple the $200 penalty she could have been fined for failing to wear a mask without a lawful excuse.
Ms Barker’s incident with police came about after a woman at Kmart had asked her earlier to wear a mask.
Ms Barker refused to show her exemption to the woman and continued shopping for about 40 minutes.
But she ran into officers as she left the centre with her children.
Ms Barker filmed her confrontation with two NSW Police officers over why she wasn’t wearing a mask
The officers asked her why she wasn’t complying with New South Wales’ Covid mask mandate.
Under health guidelines, shoppers in the greater Sydney region – which includes the Central Coast and Illawarra regions – are required to wear masks in indoor areas, such as shopping centres, unless they have a medical exemption.
A fuming Ms Barker filmed the encounter.
‘I walked out of the shop and you asked where’s my mask, and I said I had an exemption,’ Ms Barker told the two officers.
‘You said “oh ok that’s fine” and I walked off because I know my rights. And so what did you do? You followed me out of the shop.’
She then panned to the second officer: ‘This one’s just standing here not saying anything.’
The first police officer told Ms Barker he was placing her under arrest for breaching a public health order.
‘And as part of that, I’m going to search your bag,’ he told her.
The mother-of-two responded: ‘No, you’re not searching my bag.’
He told Ms Barker that refusal to comply with police is an ‘offence on its own’.
‘You can’t search a person unless they’re committing a crime. [Not] wearing a mask is not committing a crime. Mandatory and compulsory is not law,’ she said, becoming increasingly angry.
The officer then reached towards Ms Barker’s purse and said he was going to look at her ID.
A scuffle ensued as he tried to grab Ms Barker’s handbag, all in front of her two young kids.
‘Give me my purse!’ she screamed. ‘Do not touch my purse.’
The footage then cut out, before showing the police officer speaking on the phone with his sergeant for advice a short time later.
The footage then cut out, before showing the police officer speaking on the phone with his sergeant for advice a short time later
‘I apologise. I’m providing you with my details, you can go to any local police station and make a complaint in writing,’ the officer sheepishly told Ms Barker.
‘What am I correct about?’ the livid mother asked the officer.
‘Not requiring to provide the ID or proof of exemption,’ he responded.
Ms Barker was livid when she was confronted over failing to wear a mask
Ms Barker sarcastically thanked the officer, telling him: ‘Your details is not freaking enough for doing what you just did in front of my kids and reaching into my bag and grabbing my wallet.’
The cop then handed her a copy of his name and station.
‘You’re more than welcome and encouraged to go and make a complaint,’ he said.
‘I should have known better and that’s on me. Obviously you’re no longer under arrest.’
Daily Mail Australia approached Ms Barker for comment, however she declined to answer questions until she could speak to a lawyer.
She told a broadcaster hours after the incident that, ‘I’m pretty overwhelmed… I’m still in shock that it happened.’