NEWS

Probe launched into riot police brutality complaint

probe-launched-into-riot-police-brutality-complaint

The Greek Police (ELAS) is investigating police brutality claims in the downtown Athens district of Exarchia, after a video emerged of a man crying out loudly for help while surrounded by several officers in full riot gear.

The circumstances are unclear, as the video was shot in a narrow, unlit street at night, but the voice of a man can clearly be heard shouting for help and claiming his innocence.

A passerby can also be heard shouting at the officers to let the man go, while also calling for an ambulance because the man was apparently having trouble breathing.

According to police, riot officers posted on Harilaou Trikoupi Street outside the offices of the PASOK party, which comes under attack frequently by anarchist elements active in the neighborhood, stopped the man for a routine identity check at around 12.30 a.m. in the early hours of Wednesday.

The officers took chase when he ran off, tracking him to the corner of Trikoupi and Dervenion, where the video was shot. Some local media suggested that the man is homeless and sleeps rough in the area.

ELAS said he verbally and physically assaulted the officers as they tried to determine his identity. Witnesses of the incident claim that the officers hit him repeatedly.

The man was taken into custody and checked into a hospital. Doctors are expected to release him later on Wednesday, though he faces charges of assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest.