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Greek Police Receive Bodycams After Brutality Incident in Athens

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Greek police officers were seen beating up a man in Nea Smyrni, Athens. Screenshot from video

Greek police have now been assigned bodycams as a result of a police brutality incident recorded on video by a citizen.

Greek Police beat a man in Nea Smyrni, for allegedly breaking Covid-19 restrictions, then they used batons on protestors at a demonstration in the same neighborhood.

The demonstration, in the Athens suburb of Nea Smyrni, had drawn protestors from a wide swath of the public, who were angry over the seemingly unprovoked beating of a man by police in Nea Smyrni.

A second demonstration later that day in the same neighborhood saw nearly 6,000 protesters clash with Greek riot police, with one officer seriously injured when he was slammed to the pavement.

Before the initial beating, people who were protesting the restrictions and the levying of 300-euro ($354) fines to those caught violating mask regulations demonstrated peacefully in the suburb, according to reports, until several policemen accosted an unarmed male protestor and beat him with their steel batons.

The attack of police brutality, which was caught on video, shocked the nation and led to soul-searching as to how the ugly confrontation could have happened in the first place.

One possible solution has now been instituted with the assignment of body cams for twenty Greek police officers.

“The cameras are being used by DRASI and OPKE as a pilot program. In a little while they will be everywhere. An image, a sound — the whole truth,” said Citizens’ Protection Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis in a Tweet after the body cams were issued to the officers.

The new bodycams will provide a video record showing exactly how an officer handles situations to which he is summoned.

Greek Police now undergoing trial for police brutality

The trial for the officers of the DRASI motorcycle unit and the crime prevention and suppression team (OPKE) has now begun.

The portable cameras, attached to the front of officers’ uniforms, will record their actions and what they observe themselves as they carry out their duties. They may also, if used correctly, provide incontrovertible footage of confrontations as a way to determine if excessive force was used.

The cameras will send images back to the operations center, and the footage will be stored and will remain accessible to the prosecutor’s office. According to the manufacturer’s specifications, the devices can operate in the low light conditions that occur when officers patrol in the evenings or at nighttime.

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