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GSOC to investigate "pepper spraying" of homeless man

A video of the incident has been viewed 600,000 times.

THE GARDA SÍOCHÁNA Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) will investigate a video that claimed to show a garda pepper spraying a homeless man.

The incident, which occurred on Dublin’s Henry Street last Friday, was captured on video by a passer-by and uploaded to Facebook, where it has been viewed over 600,000 times.

It is not shown what happened before the recording begins, but sources indicate that the man had taken the can of pepper spray from the garda, who was able to retrieve it.

GSOC said in a statement that it would open an investigation into the incident, saying that it was in the public interest to do so.

The Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission has decided to open an investigation into the above incident in accordance with section 102(4) of the Garda Síochána Act 2007. The Commission considers that this is desirable in the public interest. This decision is based on the information to hand from the Garda Síochána and the media.

The level of public disquiet generated by this incident has influenced the Commission in the context of section 67(1)(b) i.e. our statutory duty to promote public confidence in the process for resolving complaints.

The Irish Times reports that the homeless man in the video was in court yesterday in connection with the incident.

Read: When are gardaí supposed to use pepper-spray?

Read: Call for investigation into video claiming to show garda “pepper-spraying” homeless man

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