ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek police on Monday said they had begun an internal investigation after video footage from weekend protests showed a riot policeman punching and kicking a handcuffed protester.
A protest by thousands on Saturday to mark the 2008 police killing of a teenager turned violent when black-clad youth set shops and cars on fire and hurled petrol bombs at police, who responded with teargas and water cannon.
Footage shot by Reuters showed police in riot gear pulling up a handcuffed protester off the ground, after which one of the policemen punches and kicks the man. A policeman can be heard in the background saying: “molotovs, sir”, referring to petrol bombs.
“Athens police have launched an investigation into a video published in the media which shows a policeman’s violent behavior against a Greek person who was arrested during clashes that erupted in Athens on Saturday,” police said in a statement.
The policeman in the video told authorities that he had been provoked, a police official told Reuters. The protester had been arrested for possession of petrol bombs, the official said.
The video was aired on Greek television and widely viewed on social media sites and blogs.
Reporting by Renee Maltezou; Writing by Deepa Babington; Editing by Tom Heneghan