Four Greek police officers have been charged with bodily harm that led to gay activist’s death

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CCTV camera footage of the incident led investigators to identify four policemen who were accused of beating and handcuffing a man, who was later identified as 33-year-old local gay activist Zak Kostopoulos. The police officers were given 10 days to prepare the defense statements. Kostopoulos’ death on the streets of Athens on September 21 shocked the local and international LGBT+ community, leading to protests both in and out of his native country. In the video footage, which was widely shared on social media and on Greek news channels, Kostopoulos was seen trapped inside a jewelry shop on Gladstonos Street, near Athens’ central Omonia Square. Kostopoulos used a fire extinguisher to break the glass of the shop window. As he crawled through the broken glass, the shop owner and people who witnessed his struggles joined to assaulting him instead of trying to help. At that point, a few passersby intervened to defend Kostopoulos, but a larger crowd gathered around the man, with some people still kicking him as he lied on the pavement. Kostopoulos was eventually taken away on a stretcher, handcuffed, but he died on the way to hospital.

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