An Athens appeals court on Thursday acquitted an Athens resident who was arrested after challenging a group of police officers over their treatment of a migrant man.
Petros Kapetanopoulos was charged with resisting authority, attempting to free a prisoner and giving a false statement when he challenged officers of the DIAS motorcycle squad for using violence against a man who was already in handcuffs.
The incident occurred in July 2012, when Kapetanopoulos heard shouting coming from a park across the street from his home in the Athens neighborhood of Kolonos.
Kapetanopoulos told the court that when he went down to the park, he saw five DIAS officers kicking and stomping on a handcuffed robbery suspect who was lying on the ground. When he challenged the officers for using violence against a suspect under constraint, the officers reportedly replied, “This isn’t stomping… This is,” and proceeded to step on the man’s stomach.
When the witness continued to protest by pointing out that what they were doing was illegal, the officers took him into custody on charges of complicity in a robbery, an accusation that was dropped before Kapetanopoulos’s case ever reached court.