Polish Authorities Probe Police Role In Deaths Of 2 Men

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Polish authorities are investigating the recent deaths of two men after alleged mistreatment by police in two separate cases in southwestern Poland.

Four officers have been suspended after a 25-year-old Ukrainian man died in July at a center that takes in people judged to be drunk in public to allow them to sober up, where he had been brought and handled by the police.

Gazeta Wyborcza daily reported Thursday that it has seen July 30 footage from the Wroclaw facility in which police officers and center employees allegedly beat and sat on Dmytry Nikiforenko to stop him wriggling, before he apparently lost consciousness.

He was pronounced dead the same day, and has been buried in Ukraine.

Also Thursday, national police chief, Jaroslaw Szymczyk, appeared before a parliamentary commission about the death of a 34-year-old Pole on Aug. 6 in Wroclaw province, after police allegedly tried to control his aggressive behavior.

Police had been called following reports that the man, identified as Bartosz S., was behaving aggressively in the town of Lubin. Video by witnesses that has been posted online showed officers pushing the man to the ground and him going inert. He was pronounced dead in hospital shortly after.

In 2016 in Wroclaw, a young Pole died after being tasered by the police, in a case that triggered nationwide condemnation. A court handed down a 2 1/2-year prison term to one officer convicted of involvement, and 2-year prison terms to three others.