Wednesday 24 January 2018

Probe underway after video of ‘pepper spraying’ by garda emerges

An investigation is underway after a video appearing to show a Garda using pepper spray on a homeless man emerged online.

Campaigners for the homeless have called for an investigation after video footage of a garda appearing to pin a man to the ground with his foot and using pepper spray while arresting him emerged online.

The recording, which was filmed in Dublin, has sparked accusations of unnecessary force.

Campaigner for the homeless, Fr Peter McVerry, wants an investigation into claims that unnecessary force was used on the man.

The film was recorded by DIT student Philip Campion in the Henry Street shopping district last Friday, and Fr McVerry described it as

“absolutely shocking”.

But security sources have said the man had refused to cooperate with gardai when approached last Friday.

“He was asked to move but he didn’t. He grabbed the garda’s pepper spray but the garda grabbed it back and used it on the man,” said the source.

“The garda did use his foot but he applied minimal force as he waited for backup,” the source added.

The source claimed that the man, who is a Polish national, was arrested when he tried to assault the garda.

The one-minute clip has been watched more than 230,000 times.

Mr Campion (20) uploaded the film on Facebook, accompanied by the message: “This happened on my way home yesterday.”

Mr Campion said a crowd of around 20 or 30 people gathered and some had called on the garda to stop, but he warned them to go away for their own safety.

Some commented on the Facebook post that the full story was not known or if the garda had been threatened.

A garda spokesman said they could not comment on the video clip as it had to be verified.


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