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Greek city hit with protests after Romany boy, 16, shot by police

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Greece’s second-largest city has been hit with violent protests after a Romany boy, 16, was shot by police. The teenager was shot by police after he allegedly filled his vehicle at a petrol station and drove off without paying. He has been treated at a Thessaloniki hospital, where he was in critical condition.

Police in the northern city have confirmed that the officer who allegedly shot him in the head was arrested and suspended from duty.

The 34-year-old officer has been arrested on suspicion of shooting the teenager was suspended and an internal investigation was underway.

The officer was due to appear before a public prosecutor on Tuesday to face charges of attempted manslaughter, according to the Guardian.

The boy was not named but was identified by relatives as being a member of the Romany minority community.

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He was driving a pickup truck and was chased by a police motorcycle patrol after authorities were told about an unpaid bill of €20 (£17).

Police claimed the officer fired two shots in an attempt to prevent the suspect from ramming into the motorcycle.

A statement alleged that the driver of the pickup truck had “repeatedly made dangerous manoeuvres” before the shots were fired.

Following the incident, around 1,500 people took part in a protest march in central Thessaloniki on Monday night.

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The march ended without any arrests or injuries, according to the Guardian.

However, some protests smashed shops and threw Molotov cocktails at police.

Officers responded by reportedly using teargas and stun grenades.

In a separate public act, approximately a hundred Romany men set up barricades blocking a main road outside the hospital where the boy was being treated and set fire to bins.

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Demonstrators in Greece’s capital Athens raised a banner which said: “They shot them because they were Roma.”

Giannis Oikonomou, a Government spokesperson, responded to the shooting by saying: “The value of a human life can never be measured by any amount of money.”

A spokesperson from Greece’s leftwing opposition party Syriza took aim at the centre-right Government in Athens.

Christos Spirtzis, the party spokesperson for public order, said: “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.”

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