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GreekReporter.comGreek NewsRiots Spread to Athens Following Police Shooting of Roma Youth

Riots Spread to Athens Following Police Shooting of Roma Youth

Roma riots Menidi
The Roma community in Greece is rioting following the shooting by police of a 16-year-old Roma in Thessaloniki on Monday. Credit: Twitter/Giorgos Karameros

A Greek policeman was shot in the head on Tuesday during riots in the Roma district of Menidi west of Athens.

He was rushed to the hospital where surgeons removed shrapnel under the eye. He was discharged on Wednesday. He reportedly said that the shooter targeted him from a distance of only 20 meters.

In total, thirteen police officers were injured in the riots that followed the shooting by police of a Roma teenager in Thessaloniki on Monday.

Roma youth shooting by police sparked riots

The sixteen-year-old was shot in the head in the early hours of Monday morning after driving a truck away from a petrol station near the port city of Thessaloniki without paying.

Officers from a motorcycle patrol had pursued the teenager’s pickup truck after a gas station employee reported the unpaid bill of twenty euros. The Greek police department said the youth had tried to ram officers in pursuit on motorbikes in his attempt to evade arrest.

Sixteen-year-old Roma Kostas Fragoulis was hospitalized at the Hippocrates Hospital of Thessaloniki and is in critical condition with a bullet wound to the head.

Fragoulis’ father told the assembled press outside the hospital: “What if he didn’t pay? Should they have killed him? They should have come home to arrest him. He made a mistake. He should not have been shot.”

The 34-year-old police officer, who allegedly fired the shot, was suspended from duty and arrested. He appeared in court on Tuesday morning on a felony charge of attempted manslaughter with possible intent and a misdemeanor count of illegally firing his weapon.

He asked for and was granted more time to prepare his defense, as is common in the Greek justice system, prior to appearing before an investigating magistrate. He will appear in court again on Friday.


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