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Roma boy shot by Greek police dies

#Roma #boy #shot #Greek #police #dies

A 16-year-old Roma boy shot in the head by Greek police has died of his injuries, the hospital where he was being treated said Tuesday.

The December 5 shooting sparked running clashes between police and protesters in Greece’s second city Thessaloniki.

And police said an estimated 2,500 people marched Tuesday in Athens in memory of Kostas Fragoulis.

Skirmishes broke out with rocks and Molotov cocktails lobbed at police who fired teargas, the ANA news agency reported.

The latest shooting came a year after another Roma youth was killed by police near the port of Piraeus, on the eve of nationwide protests commemorating the police killing of 15-year-old Alexandros Grigoropoulos, whose death in 2008 shocked the nation.

“Today… despite the enormous efforts of staff in the intensive care unit, the patient died,” Thessaloniki’s Ippokratio Hospital said in a statement.

Despite calls for calm from Roma community leaders, incidents had continued in Thessaloniki for several days after the shooting with roads blocked by burning tyres.

The teenager was shot by a police motorcyclist after reportedly driving away from a service station without paying for 20 euros ($21) of petrol.

Police said he had “tried to ram police motorbikes” and made other “dangerous manoeuvres” as he fled. 

An officer has since been charged with attempted manslaughter.

Civil protection minister Takis Theodorikakos voiced “deep regret” after the death on Tuesday.

On Twitter, he urged people to allow the legal process to work saying it alone was “competent to weigh the facts and judge who was responsible”.

Greek police have faced growing criticism over their alleged heavy-handedness from the country’s ombudsman and a special investigative committee, which reported alarmingly high levels of police “impunity”.

The head of Greece’s Roma community condemned the “racism” with which they were treated and the “inertia” of the authorities in dealing with it.

Seven police are on trial for murder over last year’s killing of the Roma teenager in Piraeus and the attempted murder of his passenger.

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