Greek police to wear cameras after Syrian migrant shot dead

10 Jul 2023 09:10pm
Image for illustrative purposes only - FILE PIX
Image for illustrative purposes only - FILE PIX

ATHENS, Greece - Greek police minister Notis Mitarachi said Monday that officers would be retrained and start wearing body cameras after a migrant was shot and killed in a police pursuit.

The death is the latest in a series of controversial shootings involving the Greek police.

"No use of violence on the part of Greek police is acceptable... I have already ordered staff retraining in 2023 on engagement protocols," Mitarachi told state TV ERT.

He said the "aim is to have the proper cameras on officers and in police vehicles, as in most advanced democracies", adding that the issue "will be cleared up in the next few weeks".

The announcement came after a 20-year-old Syrian migrant was fatally shot over the weekend near Larissa, central Greece after allegedly stealing a pickup truck and then attempting to flee on foot after crashing.

Police trade unionist Giorgos Kalliakmanis told ERT that the 45-year-old officer had discharged his weapon after "stumbling" during the pursuit.

"There are very specific police rules... also covering pursuit... our officers must be very well trained in enforcing this protocol," Mitarachi said.

The incident has revived calls for greater oversight of Greek police after successive disciplinary procedures over alleged abuse that rarely result in punishment.

In December, a Greek motorcycle officer fatally shot a Roma teenager near Thessaloniki after he allegedly drove away from a petrol station without paying.

The need for police to wear cameras has been debated in Greece for years, and had been promised by two previous police ministers.

Mitarachi said the measure has been held up by data privacy concerns.

AFP has contacted the police for comment. - AFP

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