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Greek-American George Zapantis dies after being tased by NYPD (videos)

A Greek-American man was tased several times by New York police officers and died following a cardiac arrest. The latest victim of police brutality in US had mental issues and was suffering from bipolar disorder. NYPD officers claimed that 29-year-old George Zapantis threatened them with a samurai sword inside his home.

However, videos taken by a neighbor show four officers attempting to handcuff Zapantis at the entrance to the home, where they tased him again.

In the video, Zapantis does not appear to be armed.

Zapantis went into cardiac arrest and was rushed to New York-Presbyterian Queens Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Officers from the 109th Precinct responded to the home of George Zapantis in Whitestone, Queens, on Sunday night after receiving a 911 call for a man possessing a gun, according to police.

Zapantis, 29, was in his basement, when police say they spotted him holding the sword. Zapantis allegedly advanced toward the officers with the sword in hand, refusing orders to drop it, at which point police say they Tased him.

Zapantis’s mother Athanasia Zapantis said a neighbor who called 911 had a history of harassing her son, and that the neighbor was clapping and shouted “Bravo” as police Tased and arrested Zapantis.

“I’m crying because I was not here for my son in his last moments, and he died in such a horrible way,” a distraught Zapantis told local media, “he died for no reason.”

via New York Daily News

Speaking to Greek ANT1 TV on Thursday morning, heartbroken Athanasia Zapantis said that she will spit on the neighbor who called the police.

According to Pix11, terrified Zapantis had called his mother and told her police were at the door; it was his last conversation with her before he died.

“He say to me mommy you need to come home right now I see a lot of cops outside,” said Athanasia Zapantis. “I say ‘George, I’m working baby, how am I going to leave my job.’”

A close family friend went to check on him. By the time that person arrived, Zapantis was already on the ground and paramedics were trying to revive him.

George Vomvolakis, the attorney representing Zapantis’s family, disputes the NYPD’s account, telling local media Gothamist he wants full transparency in the NYPD’s investigation.

“We want to view the body cam footage and any potential videos or witness statements they may have in order to confirm their accusation that Mr. Zapantis was armed and that their use of the Taser…was justified,” said Vomvolakis, who added that he’s seen three videos of the incident showing Zapantis with no sword in his hand when he was taken down by police and zapped at least twice.

“The video we have shows that his back was turned to them, his hands were behind his back and there were four or five officers screaming at him and tasing at him, and yelling at him to not resist,” said Vomvolakis.

“It also remains to be seen whether or not the police were aware of that at the time that they responded, as well as at the time that they used these Tasers,” said Vomvalkis, adding that repeated uses of a Taser can lead to death. “And if they did know, then it clearly was a use of excessive force, and that possibly they could have deescalated the situation by talking to him.”

A report released by the Civilian Complaint Review Board last December says the NYPD used Tasers more on minorities and the mentally ill, finding that between 2014 and 2017, 114 people were tased, with 59% of complainants identified as Black, and 37% considered “emotionally disturbed.”

Relatives and friends have set up a page on Facebook seeking Justice for George Zapantis.

A cousin, Marina Zapantis, has launched a donations action so that the family can come up with the funeral cost.

Many Greek media speak of Zapantis as the “new George Floyd”

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