LGBT rights activist Zak Kostopoulos may had managed to escape the worst from the fierce kicks by a jeweler and his friend last Friday, but he did not escape further abuse in the hands of policemen.
The Ministry of Public Order and the Greek Police ordered on Friday disciplinary investigation against several policemen after a new video revealed unjustified violence against a man that is lying motionless and wounded on the ground and is most probably unconscious.
In a new shocking video filmed by an eye witness on that tragic noon on September 21st 2018, eight policemen fall over the severely injured 33-year-old who lies motionless on the ground.
They have been called to the incident, they are supposed to disarm the man from a piece of broken window glass.
They kick him, beat him with a baton, drag him and swear at the motionless man who shows no reaction at all. His head is wrapped with bandage and is bleeding, there is blood everywhere. Kostopoulos seems to be unconscious at the time when policemen fall over him.
While Kostopoulos in on the ground, the policemen step on his legs, pull him by the arms. At some point and without obvious reason, a policeman approach him and steps on Kostopoulos’ throat, another one approaches and kick him.
“Come, put handcuffs,” one policeman is heard shouting, while another one shouts “the hand, pull him by the hand,” A third one shouts “Come, [email protected]@@ …your anti-god.”
It is not “indignant citizens protecting their properties” as the jeweler and his accomplice claimed.
It is members of the Greek police who treat an injured man as if it is a sack of potatoes.
The exclusive footage has been submitted to newspaper Efimerida Ton Syntakon.
EfSyn frontpage on Thursday: “The 2. Lynching of Zak.”
An eyewitness filmed the scene with a mobile phone, the video 1 minute and 30 seconds long.
On the 5. second, a policeman is seen to hold a small knife, a so-called ‘evidence’ with which Kostopoulos allegedly was threatening the people on Gladstonos Street in downtown Athens. The policeman is holding the ‘evidence’ with bare hands.
Short time later, they pull him on the pavement, efsyn notes.
Warning! The video is graphic.
The video has been circulating on internet since Friday morning and by noon, Minister for Public Order Olga Gerovasili issued a statement in which she described the police behavior are “horrifying.”
Το βίντεο που είδε σήμερα το φως της δημοσιότητας @EFSYNTAKTON εμφανίζει σκηνές που προκαλούν αποτροπιασμό. Πράξεις και συμπεριφορές που δεν ανεκτές ούτε από την κοινωνία, ούτε από την έννομη τάξη.Είναι αυτονόητο ότι αμέσως θα προχωρήσει η σχετική έρευνα.
— Όλγα Γεροβασίλη (@olgagerovasili) September 27, 2018
“The video shows scenes that are horrifying, acts and behavior that are not tolerated neither by society nor the legal order,” Gerovasili said adding “it goes without saying that an investigation will be carried out immediately.”
Short time later, the leadership of Greek Police announced that an “internal disciplinary investigation” against the police officers has been launched.
The lawyer of Kostopoulos family told state broadcaster ERT that the video must be included in the case file. “this is torture and torture in a felony,” Chrysa Petsimeri said.
Autopsy conducted no Monday could not determine the causes of death of Zak Kostopoulos, results from laboratory tests are expected by mid-October. They are expecting to determine also the reasons for a brain swelling.
The 72-year-old jeweler was released from custody on Wednesday after a testimony to court. he has to register to local police station and is not allowed to leave the country.
The second man who was kicking Kostopoulos together with the jeweler remained on the run for three days before surrendering to police. He is due to testify tomorrow Friday.
What exactly happened on Friday, Sept 21st 2018, seems to remain a mystery as more eyewitnesses speak to media and investigators, and new footage becomes public.
A witness who halted the beating, told media that “they were fiercely beating him on the head.”
From what is has been known so far Kostopoulos entered the jewelry shop that was unattended, he got trapped inside when the automatic security door closed. He tried to come out. The jeweler and another man, both were standing on the street outside the shop. They claimed that the man was a thief. Both broke the shop windows and started to kick him.
Kostopoulos was reportedly in a state of confusion and could hardly stand upright.
He died on the way to the hospital.
Fact is that without the reflexes of bystanders who filmed fragments and small scenes from the incident and hadn’t Kostopoulos being well-known in Athens, the whole issue would have most probably gone under as “just a junkie dies after robbing a jewelry shop.”