Four police officers have been charged with causing fatal bodily harm against Zak Kostopoulos, a beloved Greek drag queen and LGBTQ activist, reports Gay Star News.
As previously reported by OUT, Kostopoulos, who goes by Zackie Oh, was beaten past the point of consciousness outside a jewelry stores in Athens, Greece on September 22. A brutal video emerged of the attack, in which Zackie is kicked by police officers, the shop keeper, and an additional assailant. The footage ends with police and emergency responders putting Kostopoulos sideways on a stretcher, and his hands seemingly cuffed behind his back. He died before reaching the hospital.
Previously a shut case, police were forced to reopen the investigation after the coroner’s report revealed that the 33-year-old activist died from a heart attack sustained during the assault.
While local news affiliates and police referred to Kostopoulos as a drug addict, claiming he had a knife and was attempting to rob the shop, the toxicology report did not find any drugs in his system.
The police officers claim they didn’t use excessive force to detain Kostopoulos, but the video footage shows otherwise.
“You, together with your cohabiting police officers, at the time of the arrest of the above, have caused him physical injury, which resulted in his death,’ an investigator into the police’s actions found.”
“In particular, you hit him causing him physical injury which was increased because of the situation he had suffered. As a result of these injuries… caused by the concurrent behavior of both yours and all your co-defendants… led to ischemic-type myocardial lesions which are causally associated with the above injuries and led to his death.”
The victim’s parents are pushing their lawyer to increase the charges to first-degree murder.