Another incident of police brutality became recently known in Greece, this time in the city of Larissa, showing a very worrying pattern of repeated aggressive behavior by the country’s police forces.
The incident involves five 13-year old children, who were at Saint Anthony (Agios Antonios) Square in Larissa, central Greece on March 30.
The incident in Larissa
According to one of the parents of the children, who quoted his daughter, who was present at the incident, a group of police officers approached them and started behaving aggressively for no apparent reason.
When the policemen appeared wearing plain clothes, without any insignia, they told the children, who were playing on their mobile phones “Show us your hands.” The first three children got scared and started running, shouting “Thieves, thieves!” the father told Greece’s News 24/7 website, since they couldn’t understand that they were police officers.
What the father said next, however, is almost unbelievable.
”The police grabbed him (one of the children) by the neck, threw him on the ground, and tried to put his hands behind his back. Meanwhile, they were standing on him with their feet.”
The outrageous incident led to the young boy’s injury. The unjustified aggression of the police injured the young boy’s arm. One of the officers allegedly said ”oh, f… I broke his arm.”
However, instead of calling an ambulance to take the unfortunate young man to the hospital, the policemen arrested him and brought him to a nearby police department, where they interrogated him.
When the child complained that his arm was hurting, a police officer, who was not present at the incident but was in the police department, allegedly said ”I do not believe you.”
It took hours until the parents of the child were asked to come to the department and take their child to the hospital.
The unfortunate teen was found to have two broken bones in his arm and was treated by the doctors of the Larissa General Hospital.
Police investigation underway
Late on Friday night, the Greek police issued a statement noting that they will initiate an investigation to see whether the allegations were true or not.
”Regarding a complaint reproduced on websites referring to the reprehensible actions of police officers that took place on March 30 in Larissa […] it is announced that by orders of the Chief of the Hellenic Police, Lieutenant General Michael Karamalakis, the investigation of the incident was entrusted to the Department of Internal Matters of the Police forces of Northern Greece,” the statement reads.
Mounting evidence of Police brutality in Greece
Unfortunately, this is not the first time such incidents that have surfaced in Greece lately.
Since the right-wing New Democracy government took office in July 2019, videos and testimonies of unjustified police brutality have flooded Greece’s social media.
Only a few days ago, at least ten videos showing excessive use of force by the police were published in an incident that took place in Athens’ middle-class suburb of Nea Smirni.
Officers in Athens were caught on video throwing to the ground an apparently peaceful resident and beating him with their batons.
The incident happened in early March in the main square of Nea Smyrni just before 3 p.m.
Eye witness Dora Alexandri said she experienced the “most disgusting thing I have seen up close.”
The video had sparked public outrage and angry exchanges between the government and opposition parties, who accuse PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis of tolerating such unlawful behavior to promote his ”far-right agenda of law and order”.