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Society

Twenty Greek Cops Start Trial for Bodycams After COVID-19 Riot

ATHENS – In the aftermath of a riot over a police officer seen beating with an iron baton a man questioning 300-euro ($354) fines being handed out for violations of COVID-19 health measures, 20 Greek police officers are being equipped with body cameras.

That’s also a response by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to accusations of police brutality in that incident and other cases, including a second demonstration that same day in the neighborhood of Nea Smyrni in which 5,000 protesters clashed with riot police, one officer seriously injured.

The bodycams will provide video of how an officer handles a call and the trial has started with officers of the DRASI motorcycle unit and the crime prevention and suppression team (OPKE) said Kathimerini.

The portable cameras attached to the uniforms of officers will record their movements as they carry out duties and provide footage of confrontations to show if excessive force was used.

“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.

The cameras will beam images back to the operations center with the footage archived, stored and accessible to the prosecutor’s office. According to the manufacturer, the devices can operate in low light conditions.

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