Police officer in Athens suspended over alleged misconduct

Police officer in Athens suspended over alleged misconduct

Police officer in Athens suspended over alleged misconduct

Α police officer that beat a citizen with his baton last Sunday in the southern suburb of Nea Smyrni, has been suspended from the force.

Footage shared widely online appears to show officers beating a man, during Covid-19 compliance checks.

Athens is currently in lockdown, with citizens only allowed to leave their homes for essential trips.

Police officer in Athens suspended over alleged misconduct

An internal investigation is underway.

Meanwhile, there have been numerous protests in Athens against police violence.

On Tuesday evening, more than 5,000 people gathered in Nea Smyrni, the residential area where the video was filmed, carrying banners reading "cops out of our neighbourhoods."

Another group of masked protesters threw petrol bombs and stones at officers and a police station. Police responded by firing tear gas and flash bombs.

An officer was also pulled from his motorbike and beaten in the head by protestors before his colleagues managed to reach him.

He is being treated at the 401 Military Hospital. According to reports, his life is "not in danger."

Police officer in Athens suspended over alleged misconduct

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis called for restraint.

"The sad images of violence we all saw tonight in Athens must be the last ones. And the life of one of our fellow citizens, a young policeman who was in danger, should awaken us," Mitsotakis said.

"I will not allow anyone to divide us."

On Wednesday, authorities arrested the man they believe pushed a police officer off his motorcycle during Tuesday's clash.

The suspect, identified as a 30-year-old Greek-Iraqi, was arrested in a warehouse in the town of Magoula, western Attica, where he works. He has a previous arrest for drugs.

Fifteen other people were also arrested and face serious charges: as accessories to attempted murder, inflicting bodily harm, joint attempt to inflict grievous bodily harm, attempted bodily harm as a group and violence targeting law enforcement and judicial officials, disturbing the peace, arson that endangered people, causing dangerous explosions, construction and possession of explosives, verbal abuse, damage to property and violating laws on arms, ammunition, explosives, explosive devices and violating measures against the spread of diseases.

*More on GCT: The police department in Nea Smyrni under siege
GCT Team

This article was researched and written by a GCT team member.