Public Defender’s Recommendation on Violation of Ethical Norms by Police Officer

On January 9, 2018, Nino Lomjaria, the Public Defender of Georgia, addressed the Minister of Internal Affairs of Georgia with a recommendation concerning the improper response to the fact of violation of norms of ethics by a police officer.

A representative of the Public Defender of Georgia visited one of the police stations with regard to the case of violence that took place in the family of a representative of the LGBT community, during which, he witnessed disciplinary misconduct by a representative of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia. In particular, a police officer did not allow the representative of the Public Defender to stay in the building despite the fact that the latter presented permission. In addition, the police officer expressed homophobic and aggressive attitude towards the LGBT community.

The General Inspection of the Ministry of Internal Affairs did not confirm the fact of disciplinary misconduct after studying the case following the appeal of the Public Defender’s Office of Georgia. However, the employees of the Ministry were strictly warned to observe the requirements of the Code of Police Ethics of the Ministry of Internal Affairs while communicating with citizens.

It should be noted that the Public Defender of Georgia is studying a number of applications concerning homophobic and insulting attitude of police officers towards the LGBT community and improper response to the cases related to this community. Regrettably, in some cases, applicants themselves refuse to continue proceedings, which, along with other social and cultural factors, is caused by low trust in the law enforcement agencies, and in some cases it is difficult to obtain evidence.

The Public Defender demands the abovementioned case to be thoroughly studied and legal measures to be taken in response to the violation of the norms of ethics by the police officer. In addition, it is necessary to retrain police officers with regard to gender equality issues and the Public Defender’s mandate and authority.

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