Tags: Greece | Police Shooting

Greece: Protests over Teenager's Shooting in Police Chase

Greece: Protests over Teenager's Shooting in Police Chase

Monday, 05 December 2022 03:00 PM EST

THESSALONIKI, Greece (AP) — Violent protests broke out in Greece's second-largest city over the police shooting Monday of a Roma teenager after he allegedly filled his vehicle at a gas station and drove off without paying.

The 16-year-old boy was being treated in critical condition at a Thessaloniki hospital. The officer who allegedly shot him in the head was arrested and suspended from duty, police in the northern city said.

About 1,500 people took part in a protest march organized by left-wing and anarchist groups in central Thessaloniki on Monday night. Some smashed shops and threw Molotov cocktails at police, who responded with tear gas and stun grenades.

The march ended without any arrests or injuries reported.

Before that protest, about a hundred Roma men set up barricades, blocking a main road outside the hospital where the boy was being treated, and set fire to trash cans. Police had used stun grenades and tear gas earlier to disperse protesters throwing bottles at them outside the hospital.

Several hundred people also took part in a peaceful protest march in central Athens over the teen's shooting as well as a past incident in which a Roma man also was shot during a police chase. The demonstrators in Greece's capital had a banner reading, “They shot them because they were Roma.”

Members of the Roma community in Greece and human rights activists frequently accuse Greek authorities of discriminating against Roma. Several Roma men have been fatally shot or injured in recent years during confrontations with police while allegedly seeking to evade arrest for breaches of the law.

The injured youth was not named but identified by relatives as being a member of the Roma minority. Police said the 34-year-old officer arrested on suspicion of shooting the teenager was suspended and an internal investigation was under way.

The incident occurred outside Thessaloniki before dawn Monday. Officers from a motorcycle patrol chased the teenager's pickup truck after authorities a gas station employee reported the unpaid bill of 20 euros ($21).

The arrested officer was due to appear before a public prosecutor Tuesday on charges of attempted manslaughter.

Police said the officer fired two shots to try and stop the suspect from the pursuing motorcycle on which the office was a passenger. A statement said the driver of the pickup truck had “repeatedly made dangerous maneuvers” and drove through red lights before the shots were fired, adding that the vehicle subsequently crashed.

Asked to comment on the shooting, government spokesman Giannis Oikonomou said: “The value of a human life can never be measured by any amount of money.”

A spokesman for Greece's main opposition left-wing Syriza party accused the center-right government of failing to keep excessive policing methods in check.

“Society can no longer tolerate this climate of fear created by extreme police brutality which, for trivial reasons, has threatened the life of an underage 16-year-old child,” said Christos Spirtzis, the party spokesman for public order.

The shooting occurred on the eve of annual protests in Greek cities to mark the fatal 2008 police shooting of 15-year-old Alexandros Grigoropoulos in Athens, whose death triggered the worst riots in recent Greek history that lasted for weeks and caused extensive damage to private and public property.

Anniversary protests held since the shooting have often led to violent clashes between protesters and riot police.

___ Follow Kantouris at: https://twitter.com/CostasKantouris

© Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


GlobalTalk
Violent protests broke out in Greece's second-largest city over the police shooting Monday of a Roma teenager after he allegedly filled his vehicle at a gas station and drove off without paying.The 16-year-old boy was being treated in critical condition at a Thessaloniki...
Greece,Police Shooting
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2022-00-05
Monday, 05 December 2022 03:00 PM
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