Police leadership accused by unions of ‘looking for scapegoat’

Police leadership accused by unions of ‘looking for scapegoat’

The removal on Tuesday of the Psychico police precinct director in the wake of Monday’s attack on the Iranian Embassy in Athens by the anarchist group Rouvikonas was widely condemned by unions representing police officers and security guards.

The director is to be transferred to another division as the embassy was one of the buildings that fell under his supervision.

The Panhellenic Federation of Police Officers lashed out at the decision on Tuesday, accusing the leadership of the Greek Police (ELAS) of looking for “scapegoats in order to cover up the criminal responsibilities of those who have allowed, with their omissions and decisions, the uncontrollable activity of Rouvikonas and all those hiding behind hoods.”

The union of special guards echoed the same sentiment, slamming the state for trying to blame lawlessness on police officers.

“It is at least unacceptable to seek to pass on the responsibility for the state’s inability to stop Rouvikonas through justice to the policeman’s possible inadequacy,” the union said and called on the ELAS leadership to recall the “ostracism” of their colleagues so they can be “tried” by the disciplinary bodies.

Meanwhile, the guard who had been on duty and did nothing as 10 Rouvikonas members smashed the guard box and threw paint at the building is to return to patrol duty.

An internal police inquiry has been launched to determine why an emergency warning system had been out of order. It remains unclear why the guard did not fire warning shots or use a stun grenade.

A member of Rouvikonas said on Facebook that the guard’s reaction was “fine.”

“What was he supposed to do? Spray with the automatic [weapon]?” he asked, adding that that “some journalists want blood.” “But you should know that blood brings more blood,” the post said.

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