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Lockdown: Police brutality in Karditsa, skater apprehension in Thessaloniki (videos)

Two incidents with police against young people in northern Greece over the weekend have mainstream media and social media users wonder whether police is going too far with brutality and apprehension of people for literally no reason.

media and social media users speak of “police arbitrariness and authoritarianism.”

A video from Karditsa, western Macedonia, shows unreasonable brutality against a young woman during a lockdown check controls, while another one shows a policeman running out of a police car to grab a skater.

A young man on his skateboard enjoys the sunny weather in Thessaloniki when a policeman comes running out of a police car, chases him and detains him. Another video shows, policemen on motorcycles and on foot running among families with children to chase other skaters. Six police officers have surrounded a young man who has fallen down and take him away.

The incredible scenes take place at Nea Paralia on Sunday in front of stunned people -among them children – who are out for a walk.

The scenes are captured on a video by a bystander who uploaded it on social media raising the obvious question: why is police chasing and detains skaters when skating is not banned during the lockdown?

Some of the skaters posted on social media that police came basically to apprehend 6 Cypriot students who raised a banner against the visit of Turkish President Erdogan to occupied Varosha. “Some 40 motorcycles came for the banner, but some police believed that one of us, the skaters, was an activist too. We escaped detention but police bullied fathers holding children in their arms because they just asked what was going or those who recorded the incident,” a skater posted according to local media thestival.

Police did not issue any statement to justify the actions; neither did police in Karditsa on the brutal apprehension of a young woman on Saturday evening.

Footage shows a policeman over somebody thrown on the ground. The officer tries to handcuff her, she screams “Let me! Let me!”

People who walk on Lappas Square approach and start swearing at the police. An elderly man shouts “Wait until the kid’s father sees you!” Strong reactions come also from residents of buildings opposite to the square who shout “Shame!”, “Look at this donkey*!” and saying that “police grabbed the girl from the bench and threw her on the ground!”

A second person seems like trying to persuade the the second policeman to let the girl go.

According to local media, the video and the police brutality quickly made the rounds and was disapproved by the local community. Karditsa is the small town where everybody knows everybody and most likely bystanders in the park also recognized the policeman.

KarditsaLiveNet reports that the young woman was sitting with a friend on a bench when police came to check whether they were out for the correct reason. Citing police sources, the local news website writes that the 22-year-old woman showed “disobedience” to police.

The officer threw her on the ground and handcuffed her.

Both the girl and her boy friend were taken to police station.

Eyewitnesses said that there was “excessive zeal on the part of the police that led to an arrest for an incident that should not have been led in this direction.”

The incident took place before the night curfew at 9 pm started.

Mainstream media commented “images of shame” (tanea) or “police brutality” (efsyn).

*Greeks use the word “donkey” to describe somebody “insensitive”.

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3 comments

  1. High Yield Consultant

    All should try and learn from these incidents. Police anywhere in any country demand and expect respect, so always try and be respectful, even if you resent being questioned … even if you feel it is unwarranted … they are given enough powers in almost any jurisdiction to make your evening (or day) miserable … you may challenge them in a court of law at a later date if you wish “to win” but when they approach you should relax and be courteous

    • High Yield Consultant,were you making a joke or are you serious,Im guessing it was a back door joke.When they approach me they can see Im not Greek and I act dumb,I no speak Greek, I no understand,it gives me a few seconds grace so I can run while they try to figure me out.

  2. Why, Michele, would you want to run from the police if you have done nothing wrong?
    Even given the heavy-handed actions of some officers, the last thing you want to do is antagonise them
    by running. As for acting dumb: I don’t think, from you have said, that you need to act.