Leave Him Alone



Via Rabble.ie

Philip Campion writes:

This happened on my way home from college on Friday its absolutely outrageous behavior by a Garda on Henry Street Dublin. A homeless man was treated like an animal, when a Garda tried to arrest him [for reasons unknown] he pushed him against the floor and pepper sprayed him right in the eyes when the man was clearly not making any sort of an attack or movement towards the Garda. He then stood there with his leg on the man as if the man was going to run somewhere.

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76 thoughts on “Leave Him Alone

  1. VictorRomeo

    Pretty awful behavior from the Garda, but I don’t think he pepper sprayed him – if he did the homeless chap would be in far greater distress….

    That said, An Garda Siochana – what the actual f**k….. What’s next? A demand for big iron on your hips?

    A sorry day for the State when you lose policing by consent…..

  2. Nicola Carroll

    It’s disgusting that this video is posted without any context as to why the Guard was restraining the man.

    We’re all so quick to jump to conclusion based on some d1ck filming the scene (in portrait and upside down for phuk’s sake).

    These sorts of pop shots SICKEN me to the core.

    1. Eliot Rosewater

      The lack of context is what sickens you to your core? How bizarre. I’d be sickened by the actions of the Garda but curious as to the context.

    2. Avon Barksdale

      I know right? Cant the gardai harass and assault people in peace these days without some randomer pointing a camera in their face? Sickening lack of privacy

    3. andymac

      It’s disgusting that people like you try to defend the indefensible. The pathetic excuse of a man thought he could get his sadistic kicks without consequences.

      1. DK

        The man on the ground is handcuffed , There is more going on here then the edited video portrays , I have never seen a homeless person cuffed no matter how unruly they become , The guy on the ground could be wanted for a crime , Remember the GAA player who had his head slashed by a homeless person ,

        1. Blublu

          “Remember the GAA player who has his head slashed by a homeless person?” Seriously? Are you effing kidding me? You’re a disgusting rodent.

    4. Wayne.F

      Also the context of the individuals previous interactions with the Gardaí and their experiences with them. Having a family member in the emergency response services some of the stories of abuse and violence against both paramedics, Gardaí and others is shocking

    5. Soundings

      True, when viewed in landscape format from the other side of the shopdoor, the Garda is in fact gently spraying deodorant (Calvin Klein or some of the good stuff) on the poor down-on-his-luck homeless man, and placing his foot softly on the hobo’s arm to stop him rolling off the steep doorstep.

      And the Garda’s mild warning to the video chap to move away for his own safety is because the hobo might start at any moment projectile vomiting the nice cup of tea and hob nob which the Garda generously gave the hobo just before the nosy parker started filming.

    6. Starina

      so i take it you didn’t notice that the guy was already handcuffed when the gard maced him?

    7. realPolithicks

      I assume you have some personal angle here Nicola as your comment is totally out of proportion. Whatever might have happened previously, the homeless guy is handcuffed and lying on the ground, there is no justification whatsoever for pepper spraying the guy. The problem with a lot of law enforcement officers is that they appear to feel that they themselves are above the law.

    8. jack o trade

      You jumped to the conclusion that the guy who was filming was “some d1ck”, pretty quickly dont you think? I’m going to jump to the conclusion that you sir are probably a guard.

  3. MepMep

    “I got all this on camera. I got ALL this on camera.” Congratulations, mate. Day well spent.

    1. munkifisht

      What should he be doin? Gettin down thug with the Garda or maybe people documenting cases of harassment might go on to cause some kind of change.

      1. MepMep

        Not when they’re sound bite videos out of context (1 minute from the supposed 10 recorded) with commentary from howaya heads who are anti-establishment. Obviously what the Gard is doing doesn’t look very fair, or even by the book, but Mrs 10-feet-away-must-be-a-law and Mr ALL-on-camera are acting on contrarianism.

        1. munkifisht

          Howaya?! Well done, bigotry of an accent.

          There’s a great political tool to cause division and separation and keep the middle classes voting the same way and maintaining the status quo by trying to define everyone in Ireland as us and them, as if the way someone talks says anything about their world view.

        2. delacaravanio

          “…with commentary from howaya heads who are anti-establishment”

          Are all eyewitnesses so concerned by police brutality that they speak out classed as anti-establishment, or is it just the working classes?

      2. MepMep

        On second viewing, the guy appears to be handcuffed. He’s refusing to co-operate after being arrested/detained by laying down on the street and refusing to move as instructed. Guess the Gard should just walk away?

        1. delacaravanio

          Ah, you’re just a troll. The guard could be beating the homeless man on the head with the back end of a shovel and you’d claim that he was just repairing the footpath.

  4. madouveh on the dole

    Off his head, in the middle of the day, blocking a doorway and refusing or being too inebriated to move. Pepper spray might be a tad excessive, but Hobo Joe was kinda asking for it.

    1. McKay

      Kinda asking for it? Jesus is that what you think passes for civilised behaviour? Casual violence by agents of the state against those of a ‘lower order’?

      1. madouveh on the dole

        Jesus mary and joseph! agent of the state? you just outed yourself as a crusty, or a RA head. or possibly both. Either way, lets all hope for your sake these free state police have organic pepper spray and gluten free steel toe boots at the shell to sea protest youre at.

    2. Mani

      What’s worse here is that on closer inspection that appears to be lynx Africa, not pepper spray.

    3. Casey

      “Asking for it”

      Just WOW. “He/She was asking for it” the typical dialogue of the rapist / oppressor / persecutor or someone about to seriously abuse somoene.

  5. Ride This Pony

    Nicola either has a serious dislike to homeless people or has a link in some way to the Garda.
    This man appears to be in no way a threat to the Garda in the video, it just as well the majority aren’t armed with more harmful weapons. No doubt he’ll get off without as much as a warning.


  6. fluffybiscuits

    This made me cry

    Im outraged at this, something has triggered inside me and I cant explain it…

    Humanity died in the Irish police force a long time ago

  7. Custo

    Don’t see anything wrong here. Garda seems well in control of the situation despite the best efforts of a pair of mouthpieces with
    video cameras to distract him.

  8. Laughter Tack.

    Why was the homeless man wearing handcuffs?

    Had he… And this might sound a little out there… broken the law before this award winning film making took place?

  9. Paul O'Carr

    It’s clear that a certain segment of Broadsheet commentators use any opportunity to criticise the Garda. I’m not going to even comment on the content of the video because without knowing the full context, none of us is in a position to judge the actions of the Garda. Such a short clip doesn’t allow us to form any sort of assessment as to the proportionality of his actions.

    1. Ride This Pony

      “I’m not going to even comment on the content of the video”

      You just did:

      “Such a short clip doesn’t allow us to form any sort of assessment as to the proportionality of his actions.”

      RideMe just don’t spray me

  10. linbinius

    C’mon folks…that shit is dark. There is no way of defending the action of using pepper spray in that situation.

    Ugly stuff.

    1. Jackdaw

      Where is the pepper spray used? Show me! Yes it’s in his hand but it’s not used. Now put your vagina back into your handbag. “Dark stuff ” FFS!!

      1. Nice Anne (Dammit)

        The 1950s called, they would like to remind you that only right pricks use phrases like “Now put your vagina back into your handbag”

  11. Soundings

    Knowing that it’s the Gardai we’re talking about, there probably aren’t any public guidelines but they do have guidelines in the UK. Extracts

    Its use is to be used where there is violence or threat of violence
    It is not to be used at a distance of less than 1m
    The police officer should explain to the subject what has happened and get them to breathe normally


    If the Garda guidelines, which don’t appear to be publicly available, are similar then the Garda above looks exposed to serious disciplinary procedures if not an actual charge of assault.

  12. Soundings

    Actually there are guidelines in Ireland for the use of incapacitant spray


    The deployment of incapacitant spray MUST be notified to the Garda Ombudsman (page 14), and its deployment seems to be limited to serious situations involving a threat to the Garda or the public.

    I think the Garda above is in deep trouble unless there is some serious omission from that video above.

    1. Drogg

      The only problem with that is corruption also seems rife in the Ombudsman’s office, they will do an investigation which the Garda will fully co-operate and then be found completely innocent due to the fact the video is not clear enough and is probably edited while the innocent Garda was obviously viciously attacked by a homeless man handcuffed on the ground.

      1. Bonkers

        There’s CCTV all over Henry St so it shouldnt be too hard to get footage of the entire event,

        Either way the garda was over the top here, the homeless guy is already in handcuffs so he’s not going anywhere. He also seems pretty pissed.

  13. Jackdaw

    Don’t see him using the spray. If he did yet man would be roaring like an ass. It’s out but clearly not used. Of course there is no footage of how the cuffs magically appeared on the guy but don’t let that get in the way of a good oul Garda Bashing opportunity.

  14. rotide

    Amazing there’s so many Garda posting here judging by the expert knowledge of how to deal with a situation going by about 45 seconds of bad video.

    Everyone going ‘No need to pepper spray him’… Where does he pepper spray him? He doesnt actually use it.

  15. B

    there is no context to this vídeo. I routinely witness the most awful behaviour towards the gardai from the criminal classes.

  16. Anomanomanom

    I seriously do not see what is wrong with what happened. He has not beaten the guy. He clearly restrains him, with his foot yes, but that’s it. I think I hear the bandwagon coming.

  17. Bort

    If that guy had been pepper sprayed he would be roaring! The Garda wouldn’t have been too comfortable either. The Garda is pretty passive by usual standards

  18. ReproBertie

    22 seconds in the homeless guy tries to get up. The garda pushes him back. He tries to get up again and the garda says “Stay down. You were told.” then restrains him with a foot on the knee and a hand on the elbow while interfering idiots start instructing the garda on how to do his job.

    “No need to stand on him like that”. Yeah, sure let him get up and stagger around or make a run for it. Make your job harder for yourself garda.

    1. Delacaravanio

      You missed the part about the man being handcuffed too the front and in a sleeping bag. It would have been impossible for him to get up.

  19. YourNan

    highly skilled workforce and yet when it comes to take a video on a phone or indeed fixing it on an editor afterwards to get the orientation right you can pretty much forget it. Sure we’ll just outsource that tough tech. stuff to India or China.

  20. Owen

    OK. There are a number of things here that all you half-wits did not consider. Let me clarify a few possibilities:

    1. Perhaps the homeless guy was wearing the handcuffs as part of his outfit, a fashion accessory if you will.
    2. How do we know the ‘Garda’ is not actually a Irish water installer and there is a meter to go in that doorway;
    3. Sleeping in a doorway does not imply homeless, it implies being tired while walking to work (we have all through of it on a Monday);
    4. The ‘pepper spray’ could have been aftershave or nicotine spray and the Garda is actually quite sound;
    5.The homeless guy could be a garda after a big night out and the other lad is just his mate trying to get him to work before the boss notices.

    There are a lot of possibilities people. You need to really look at all the ‘facts.

    1. Soundings

      “The matter has not been referred [to the, presumably] Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission.”

      “The Garda recovered the cannister [of incapacitant] and used it to subdue the man who was then placed in handcuffs. ”

      This matter MUST be referred to GSOC according to Garda guidelines. If there was no threat of violence to the Garda or the public, I think that Garda is looking at a suspension, and the “move away for your own safety” might be construed as an attempt to stop the public observing unlawful behaviour.

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