Greece: Roma Teenager Shot by Police Dies

    Greece: Roma Teenager Shot by Police Dies
    Last updated Dec 13, 2022
    Image credit: Getty Images [via BBC News]


    • Doctors at the Hippocrates hospital confirmed that a 16-year-old boy from the Roma community who was shot in the head by Greek police in Thessaloniki as he fled a petrol station after allegedly not paying last week died on Tuesday morning.[1]
    • The teenager, reportedly identified as Kostas Fragoulis, was taken to the hospital in an ambulance on Dec. 5 in a coma, where he remained in critical condition for over a week.[2]
    • The police officer who allegedly shot him has been suspended and under house arrest since Friday pending a court decision on whether to remand him in custody before trial in a felony count of attempted manslaughter with possible intent and a misdemeanor count of illegally firing his weapon.[3]
    • This shooting sparked days of violent protests by members of the Roma community across Greece, including Thessaloniki and Athens, despite pleas by community officials and some members of the teenager's family to maintain calm.[4]
    • Though the police officer claimed he shot over fear for his colleagues' lives after the teenager allegedly tried to ram their motorcycles with his vehicle, the Roma community and its supporters have said the boy was a victim of long-standing bigotry.[5]
    • This incident came on the eve of the 14th anniversary of the death of Alexis Grigoropoulos, a teenager killed by an officer in Athens under controversial circumstances. Several men from the Roma community have been fatally shot or injured in recent years in similar incidents.[6]


    Left narrative

    This tragic incident has exposed to the world what ethnic Roma have to endure in Greece due to systemic racism and police violence. Punishing and incarcerating the suspect must be the first step towards a reckoning with this historic injustice.

    Right narrative

    Though Greek authorities are investigating this case, political opposition is seeking to weaponize the incident for political reasons — trying to make an inflammatory link with the 2008 killing of Grigoropoulos. The law applies to everyone in Greece, and police are supported strictly within the framework of the law.

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