News Europe Clashes between the Greek Police and the Roma community over the shooting...

Clashes between the Greek Police and the Roma community over the shooting of a 16-year-old boy

Greek policemen at a protest in Athens (file). – EUROKINISSI / ZUMA PRESS / CONTACT PHOTO

The Greek Police has taken harsh measures on Tuesday to quell protests by the Roma community in the west of the city of Thessaloniki (north) for the shooting of a 16-year-old teenager who is in serious condition.

Several people have blocked the streets and erected barricades in the municipality of Kalochori, in Thessaloniki, the same day that the officer suspected of shooting the 16-year-old gave a statement before a court that is trying him for attempted murder, in which another group has also gathered to protest.

The Police have had to disperse a crowd of several dozen people, while the Firefighters have come to put out the fires caused during the protests, according to the Greek newspaper ‘Kathimerini’.

The young man was shot in the head and is hospitalized in serious condition. Members of the community and the Police have confronted the gates of the hospital. The protesters have accused the authorities of racism within the police forces and of discrimination.

The case of the young Kostas Fragoulis took place this Monday. According to the Greek press, the victim refueled with gasoline worth 20 euros and left without paying. In his escape he rammed one of the agents who was chasing him on a motorcycle. After stopping the vehicle, an agent fired a shot and hit the young man’s head.

The 34-year-old police officer is charged with attempted felony homicide and carrying out an unlawful shooting to immobilize or neutralize a suspect. The defendant maintains that he fired because there was a real risk to his safety and that of his companions.

The protests have taken place during the fourteenth anniversary of the deadly shooting that killed Alexandros Grigoropoulos, then 15 years old, in a police operation. The officer involved was later convicted of murder. Since then, annual demonstrations have been held in Greece against police violence during these dates.



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