Belfast Telegraph

Homeless man arrest - garda cleared

A Garda watchdog investigation has cleared the force of any wrongdoing in the arrest of a homeless man in central Dublin.

The incident on busy shopping throughfare Henry Street on Friday March 13 was partly captured on camera by a student and went viral after being posted on the internet.

The controversy that followed, amid allegations of excessive force, led the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission to launch a special investigation in the public interest.

It found an account of the incident by the arresting officer was supported by CCTV footage, which showed the drunken 34-year-old homeless man trying to punch the garda and grabbing his pepper spray.

The garda denied using the incapacitant spray on the man after he was restrained by handcuffs and there was no CCTV footage to support such suggestions, the investigation found.

Attempts to enhance the uploaded video footage proved "inconclusive as to whether incapacitant spray had indeed been used by the garda when the man was handcuffed on the ground", the report states.

The man was taken to Store Street Garda Station but there was no CCTV footage from there because of a technical issue, the Garda watchdog said.

"Insufficient evidence of either a criminal or disciplinary nature was established in the investigation," it concluded.

"It appears that any force used by the garda concerned in this incident was justified, lawful and proportionate under the circumstances and no more than absolutely necessary."

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting?


From Belfast Telegraph