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Greece: Roma teenager shot dead in police chase

THESSALONIKI, Greece — A teenager from Greece’s Roma community, who was shot in the head during a police chase for an allegedly unpaid gas station bill, has died, the hospital treating him and members of the community said on Tuesday. Roma community.

The 16-year-old had been hospitalized for more than a week in the northern city of Thessaloniki after he was shot dead in the early hours of December 5 by a motorcycle policeman involved in a chase after the teenager reportedly filled up his van at a gas station and left without paying the 20 euro ($21) bill.

The shooting led to days of often violent protests in Thessaloniki, Athens and other parts of Greece by members of the Roma community, despite calls from community leaders and some family members of the teenager to keep calm.

“Here, everyone is crying. It is unfair for a child to leave like this,” said Antonis Tasios, secretary of the Roma community where the teenager lived, confirming his death. “We have a lot of pain.”

The hospital treating the youngster, who has not been formally identified, said the 16-year-old was hospitalized in critical condition in the intensive care unit after undergoing emergency surgery, but that despite the best efforts of medical personnel, he died on Tuesday morning. .

The 34-year-old police officer accused of firing the shot has been suspended and placed under house arrest since Friday pending a court decision on whether to remand him pending of his trial for the crime of attempted manslaughter with possible intent and a misdemeanor. account of illegally firing his weapon.

Police say the teenager tried to ram the police motorcycles involved in the chase with his van, and the officer said in an initial court appearance last week that he fired his gun because he feared for the lives of his colleagues.

ABC News

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