Thessaloniki Protesters gathered outside a courthouse in northern Greece on Friday after a Roma teenager was shot and seriously injured during a police chase over unpaid petrol station bills.
About 200 friends, relatives and other protesters from the Roma community gathered outside a court in Thessaloniki to hold up a picture of an injured 16-year-old boy and demand justice.Monday’s shoot is over days of violent protest By members of the Roma community, including Athens, Greece’s second largest city.
“It wasn’t gas, it wasn’t money. The police fired because he was a Roma,” protesters said on Friday. Community leaders have called for peaceful protests outside courthouses and demanded that police be detained pending trial.
“We want justice. The crime was racist,” said Panagiotis Savanis, president of the Roma Federation of Central and West Macedonia. “There is racism towards us in Greece. This is not the first time the police have shot a Roma just because he is a Roma.”
In recent years, several Roma men have been injured or shot dead while clashing with police while trying to avoid arrest for breaking the law.
Andonis Tasios, general secretary of the Roma community where the boy lives, was among the protesters outside the courthouse on Friday. “They shot him because of the color of his skin. If he wasn’t Roman, they wouldn’t have done it,” he said.
Members of the Greek Roma community have long faced discrimination and often live on the fringes of society.
16-year-old boy chased by police motorcycle after allegedly driving out of petrol station 20 euros ($1) without paying bills Early Monday morning, he was hit in the head and is hospitalized in a serious condition.
The 34-year-old police officer who opened fire was suspended. charged with probable willful manslaughter and fired his weapon illegally. He was scheduled to appear before an investigating magistrate to be questioned about the case on Friday.
Police said the young man tried to ram one of the motorcycles involved in the chase in his pickup truck and fired twice to prevent the truck from ramming the vehicle.
In a preliminary court appearance earlier this week, a police officer said he fired for fearing his colleague’s life, but that it was not aimed at the young man. During questioning on Friday, officers said the young man tried to hit a motorcycle three times.
The shooting sparked days of violent protests, with vehicles and at least one business set on fire, and police fired from shotguns. He said he was slightly injured by a shotgun pellet during an overnight riot in the west.
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https://www.local10.com/news/world/2022/12/09/greek-police-officer-in-court-over-shooting-of-roma-teen/ Greek police who shot dead Roma teen appear in court