A four-year-old child was accidentally pepper-sprayed after an anti-lockdown protest in Schweinfurt, Germany, on Sunday night.
Protestors punched, kicked and spat on police that were trying to contain the crowd, and officers responded with batons and pepper spray.
One woman, who had reportedly broken through the police cordon, had brought a young child with her to the demonstration.
As the screaming child sat strapped into a pushchair, it inhaled a small amount of pepper spray.
Two police officers administered first aid by washing out the tot's eyes, which rendered the child “completely symptom-free” within a few minutes, according to a statement from Bavarian police.
The child’s mother is expected to face charges of child endangerment after police lodged a formal complaint referring her to social services.
Police union boss Oliver Malchow condemned parents who bring their children to Covid protests to use them as “protective shields against police measures”.
He added that the protests were increasingly becoming infiltrated by “extremists”:
Police injured outside Downing Street as chaos erupts in Covid protests
“People are more and more frustrated, the longer the corona issue simmers," he said. "Unfortunately, there is no end to these conflicts in sight".
“I can only appeal to those who want to demonstrate peacefully against the compulsory vaccination: Go to registered demonstrations and do not allow yourself to be used by extremists.”
Lockdown protests have become increasingly violent over the past year. In July a woman police officer was knocked to the ground and kicked in the head by a protester.
After another rowdy protest Chief Superintendent Stuart Bell urged anti-lockdown campaigners to think about the harm they were doing.
“This type of behaviour not only breaks the law,” he said, “it also risks spreading the virus between multiple areas of the country”.
Anti-lockdown protesters in the UK have also contributed to a huge £2million bill for taxpayers by crowding together without masks and protesting in the middle of a deadly global pandemic.
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