Polish police said Sunday that an officer who sprayed tear gas into the face of a member of parliament during a protest probably did so because he perceived the politician as a threat.
An officer sprayed Barbara Nowacka, a centre-left opposition lawmaker, in the face with the gas as she held out her parliamentary identity card to show him Saturday night. The incident occurred during a protest in Warsaw, the capital, against a restrictive abortion ruling.
“I am standing with my lawmaker’s ID and I get pepper spray in my face from a very close distance. I get it in my eyes, in my ear, and the people standing next to me also get hit,” she said on Sunday on TVN24, describing the incident of the night before.
Warsaw police spokesman Sylwester Marczak acknowledged, at first, that the use of pepper spray against a lawmaker showing her ID looked “shocking.”