Police open probe on officers’ conduct during arrest of activist

Police open probe on officers’ conduct during arrest of activist

Greek police’s headquarters ordered a preliminary investigation into the behaviour of policemen during the detention of an LGBTQ activist who died last week in central Athens, following the release of a video that shows one policeman kicking the victim.

Zak Kostopoulos died last Friday while attempting to exit a jewellery store he had been trapped into. It remains unclear whether he intended to rob the store or if he was trying to avoid a nearby brawl.

In his effort to escape, the 33-year-old man smashed through a street-level display window and was then kicked repeatedly by the store owner and another man. He died while he was being transferred  to hospital.

Police said the probe will “assess generally the operational response of the policemen” and examine whether they operated within the boundaries of the law.

The video, recorded on an eyewitness’ mobile phone and published in newspaper Efimeritha ton Syntakton on Thursday, shows Kostopoulos, lying on the ground, with a bloodied face, after he had been kicked.

Around 6 policemen are trying to handcuff him while another has taken hold of a knife, the weapon Kostopoulos was allegedly holding.

One of the policemen kicks him on the ribs, though the victim is not showing the slightest resistance.

A forensic report is underway to determine the cause of death.

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