State Inspector Probes Police Abuse of Deaf Man

The State Inspector’s Service launched an investigation today after footage emerged showing a police officer attacking a man, allegedly deaf, at the Isani subway station in Tbilisi.

The Service stated it is leading the probe under Article 333 (3b) of the Criminal Code, involving exceeding official powers using violence or a weapon, a crime that envisages a prison term of five to eight years with deprivation of the right to hold an office or to carry out activities for up to three years.

Graphic footage aired by local TV networks shows a police officer hitting the person at least five times, including by slapping and punching him. Meanwhile, another cop stands nearby without intervening, as shown in the video.

Ahead of the incident, the police officer can be seen having grabbed the hand of the person on the escalator, while people accompanying the man are warning the policeman that he is deaf and should let him go.

“What if I make him talk now?” the policeman responds, and goes on to take the man into a room at the station. “I will make him talk right now… Until his parents come I am not letting him out of here,” the cop says right before proceeding to hit the person.

It is currently unknown if the victim is a minor.

A statement delivered by the Interior Ministry said its General Inspection had launched an examination and relayed relevant materials to the State Inspector.

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