Australia’s viral sensation ‘egg boy’ and the senator he hit with an egg have both been cleared by police after an investigation into the initial incident.
Last month, a teenage boy smacked an egg over the head of Senator Fraser Anning and the video subsequently went viral and made international headlines. Anning made insensitive comments about the Christchurch massacre in neighboring New Zealand, so the teen became a hero online for his egg-based actions.
Anning punched the 17-year old twice in return and his associates tackled him to the ground and put him in a headlock. But the police ruled that no criminal charges would be pressed against the politician or the teenager.
However, Victorian Police announced a 20-year old man would be charged with assault for allegedly kicking the boy while he was apprehended on the ground.
Due to Anning’s incendiary comments and far right-wing political beliefs, many online heralded the teenager as a hero, and he became known as egg boy. Online campaigners raised $57,000 for any future legal proceedings that the boy might face.
Anning claimed that the Christchurch mosque shooting, where a white nationalist killed 50 people, was a result of Muslim fanatics immigrating to Australia. He further said that the attack, “highlights…the growing fear within our community…of the increasing Muslim presence.”
The Australian Senate censured Anning for his comments and called them “inflammatory and divisive.”
Anning has yet to apologize for his comments, but the teenager apologized for his actions before saying that the egg had united people.
The outpouring of response and subsequent online fundraising to keep the teenager out of the legal system show that people were worried about what would happen to the child. He was also offered concert tickets amongst other gifts.
Fortunately for him and his supporters, he was able to avoid criminal prosecution which would be an unfortunate position for a minor.
Youth offenders can often be put in dangerous positions as they enter the justice system at a young age.
“Many parents worry about their children’s well-being, and it is best that young offenders are kept out of the system as much as possible,” said Alexander Eser of parentscorner.com.au, “it is best to keep children with their parents in a healthy environment.”
There was also outcry of their immediate treatment of Anning and his supporters who tackled the young boy to the ground. In the video, several men pin down the young boy and use what some have deemed as excessive force.
In the end, the police cautioned the young man but exonerated him of any wrongdoing. How politically active ‘egg boy’ will remain is unknown, but Anning is attempting to start his own political party, despite the negative backlash to his comments and his actions in response to getting egg on his head.
In modern day, politics often seem too crazy to be true, but perhaps ‘egg boy’ is the natural response from young people in the face of unsavory and inhumane rhetoric. Fortunately, for egg boy, the Australian police recognized that he is still just a child.