Translation from Greek to English by Mariniki Koliaraki

We are not shocked by the police’s violence against Zak Kostopoulos. We have experienced the case of the flower box [on which a student is supposed to be hurt during student protests]. We have experienced murders. In fact, the selective violence and authoritarianism are totally conscious behavior of the police.

This attitude is affirmed both by the statement of the president of Police Officers’ Association and those of a high status trade unionist of the sector. “The police officer will not come with a rose”, is what is told. On the other hand, the kicks at an almost dead body, an almost dead man, are on the other extreme of a gentle, romantic arrest.

The police’s attitude is not the only issue raised by the murder of Zak Kostopoulos. However, it is one of the main issues. Instead of a protective police, especially for the weakest citizens, there is a police that causes fear, especially for them.

Is this attitude in accordance with the law? According to the corresponding article (ar.120 – Presidential Decree 141/1991) “Police officers should act sensibly and maintain stability, during the arrest, avoiding any action which could harm the integrity and the reputation of the person who is arrested and generally actions that offend to the person’s dignity”. It is also mentioned that police officers “are considered to treat to the detainee with geniality, not to use unnecessary violence against him and bond him only in case of violent reaction or in case he is suspected for escape”.

Is this attitude in accordance with a political state? This is extracted by the reality. In the case of the murder of Pavlos Fyssas, the member of Golden Dawn and murderer, G. Roupakias, is arrested almost by chance. Some minutes earlier, Pavlos himself was in the risk of arrest. Exactly what has happened in the case of Zak.

The incident of Kostopoulos is one more case, but it shouldn’t be skipped like that. His inclusion to the tragic list of police’s victims, have to be though through the view of the end of tolerance. It is enough! It should be claimed and defended by the whole society. Articles and discussion with sharp point of view help in this respect. This is the case of the cartoonist Carlos Latuff.

The famous cartoonist, who collaborates with our magazine, draws about the murder and he focuses on the police’s role in the incident. The police are who you ask for help and instead they kick you while you are lying on the ground. This has happened with Zak.

If someone does not know what has happened, she/he may consider the sketch to be an exaggeration. It would be an exaggeration unless it is our own reality. A reality we have to deal with and never forget.

For Zak and Alexis[1], Kaltezas [2] and many others whose names are never heard, we should deal with a reality that lasts for years, fighting for a society where everyone is to be accepted and respected.

Carlos Latuff’s sketch for Zak Kostopoulos exclusively at 3point magazine.

[1] Alexis Grigoropoulos, 15 years old, murdered by police officer in Exarcheia (Athens), December 6, 2008
[2] Michalis Kaltezas, 15 years old, murdered by police officer in Exarcheia (Athens), November 17, 1985

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