Greece: House arrest for police officer in shooting of teen

Dec 8, 2022, 10:39 AM | Updated: Dec 9, 2022, 2:55 am
Relatives and other protesters from the Roma community chant slogans outside the courthouse in Gree...

Relatives and other protesters from the Roma community chant slogans outside the courthouse in Greece's second largest city of Thessaloniki, holding up photos of an injured 16-year-old and calling for justice, on Friday, Dec. 9, 2022. A Greek police officer is appearing in court in northern Greece over the shooting and serious injury of a Roma teenager during a police chase over an allegedly unpaid gas station bill, with protesters gathering outside the courthouse. (AP Photo/Giannis Papanikos)

(AP Photo/Giannis Papanikos)

              Relatives and other protesters from the Roma community chant slogans and hold photos of an injured 16-year-old outside the courthouse where a police officer is appearing, in Greece's second largest city of Thessaloniki, Friday, Dec. 9, 2022. A Greek police officer is appearing in court in northern Greece over the shooting and serious injury of a Roma teenager during a police chase over an allegedly unpaid gas station bill, with protesters gathering outside the courthouse. (AP Photo/Giannis Papanikos)
            
              The father of the of an injured 16-year-old teenager takes part in a protest with other members of the Roma community outside the courthouse where a police officer is appearing,  in Greece's second largest city of Thessaloniki, Friday, Dec. 9, 2022. A Greek police officer is appearing in court in northern Greece over the shooting and serious injury of a Roma teenager during a police chase over an allegedly unpaid gas station bill, with protesters gathering outside the courthouse.(AP Photo/Giannis Papanikos)
            
              Relatives and other protesters from the Roma community chant slogans outside the courthouse in Greece's second largest city of Thessaloniki, holding up photos of an injured 16-year-old and calling for justice, on Friday, Dec. 9, 2022. A Greek police officer is appearing in court in northern Greece over the shooting and serious injury of a Roma teenager during a police chase over an allegedly unpaid gas station bill, with protesters gathering outside the courthouse. (AP Photo/Giannis Papanikos)

THESSALONIKI, Greece (AP) — A Greek police officer accused of shooting and seriously wounding a Roma teenager during a police chase over an allegedly unpaid gas station bill will remain under house arrest, after a prosecutor and an investigating judge disagreed Friday on whether he should be jailed until his trial.

About 200 protesters from the Roma community were gathered outside the courthouse in Greece’s second-largest city of Thessaloniki Friday, where the 34-year-old officer appeared amid tight security.

The officer has been charged with a felony count of attempted manslaughter with possible intent, and a misdemeanor count of illegally firing his weapon over the Monday shooting, which has left the 16-year-old hospitalized in critical condition with a head wound.

Police have said the teenager tried to ram a police motorcycle involved in the chase, and the officer has said he fired his weapon because he believed his colleagues’ lives were in danger.

The prosecutor handling the case recommended the officer be remanded in custody until the trial, and the investigating judge who questioned the officer in court on Friday recommended he be released on bail.

Until a panel of judges resolves the disagreement, the officer will be placed under house arrest. The prosecutor has three days to make another recommendation to the panel, and a decision could come as early as next week.

Security was tight at the courthouse for the hearing, with riot police forming a cordon and the police officer surrounded by dozens of his colleagues as he arrived for questioning.

Friends and relatives of the injured 16-year-old and other protesters from the Roma community gathered outside the courthouse, holding up photos of the youth and calling for justice. The shooting already sparked days of violent protests by members of the Roma community in Greece’s second-largest city, as well as Athens and other areas, with vehicles and at least one business torched and police coming under fire from shotguns.

“It wasn’t the gas, it wasn’t the money, the cops shot because he was Roma,” the protesters chanted outside the courthouse before the decision on the officer’s house arrest was made public. Some burned 20-euro notes – the amount the teenager allegedly failed to pay at the gas station.

Community leaders had called for a peaceful protest outside the courthouse.

“We want justice. The crime was racist,” Panagiotis Sabanis, head of the Roma Federation of Central and Western Macedonia, said. “There is racism against us in Greece. It’s not the first incident of a police shooting against a Roma just because he is a Roma.”

Several Roma men have been injured or fatally shot in recent years during confrontations with police while allegedly seeking to evade arrest for breaches of the law.

Andonis Tasios, general secretary of the Roma community where the boy lives, was among the protesters outside the courthouse Friday. “They shot him because of his color. If he wasn’t Roma, they wouldn’t have done it,” he said.

Members of the Roma community in Greece have long faced discrimination and many often live on the margins of society.

The 16-year-old, who was chased by motorcycle police after he allegedly drove away from a gas station without paying a 20-euro (dollar) bill early Monday, was hit in the head and remains hospitalized in critical condition.

In a preliminary court appearance earlier in the week, the police officer said he fired his weapon because he feared for the lives of his colleagues but he had not aimed at the youth. During his questioning Friday, the officer said the youth had tried to ram the motorcycle three times.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

2 Indiana officers shot, suspect dead after gunfire exchange

MITCHELL, Ind. (AP) — Two southern Indiana law enforcement officers were shot and wounded early Sunday during an exchange of gunfire with a suspect who fled a traffic stop on foot and fired at the officers before he was fatally shot, police said. Both officers flown to a hospital in Indianapolis, where they are were […]
1 day ago
Marcos Marzo, second left, poses for a photo with his friends who came to say goodbye upon receivin...
Associated Press

Cubans respond with zeal to new US migration policy

HAVANA (AP) — In barely a week, 25-year-old engineer Marcos Marzo went from riding his small electric motorcycle past the low buildings of Havana’s Vedado district to traveling the mega-highways of Florida, amazed by the towering high-rises and giant supermarkets. A close relative told Marzo on Jan. 21 that he had applied online to sponsor […]
1 day ago
/// State Sen. Clarence Lam, a Maryland Democrat who is a physician at Johns Hopkins, speaks during...
Associated Press

As many as 80K Marylanders could lose Medicaid eligibility

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland officials are preparing for as many as 80,000 residents who could no longer qualify for Medicaid coverage this spring, as the federal government reinstates a requirement that existed before the COVID-19 pandemic for states to verify the eligibility of recipients. Michele Eberle, the executive director of the Maryland Health Benefit […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

2 abducted Missouri children found in a Florida supermarket

HIGH SPRINGS, Fla. (AP) — Two abducted children who had been missing from Missouri for almost a year were found in a central Florida grocery store with their non-custodial mother, who was taken into police custody, authorities said. Kristi Gilley was arrested last Wednesday on an out-of-state fugitive warrant. Court records show Gilley, 36, remained […]
1 day ago
Alex Murdaugh, right, leans over to talk with his attorney Jim Griffin in his double murder trial a...
Associated Press

How the cases in Alex Murdaugh’s murder trial are shaping up

Two weeks into the double murder trial of South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh, prosecutors haven’t presented any direct evidence that he killed his wife and son at their home in June 2021. There is no confession, no surveillance camera footage, no recording of the victims’ final moments. If found guilty of murdering his wife, Maggie, […]
1 day ago
People protest against the exclusion of some animals in the new animal protection law, Madrid, Spai...
Associated Press

Spain: Rights groups urge more protection for hunting dogs

MADRID (AP) — Animal rights groups and pet shop owners marched Sunday in separate demonstrations to protest a new animal welfare law proposed by the Spanish government that seeks to advance the protection of animal rights. The draft legislation has fueled criticism by animal rights groups after a last-minute amendment excluded hunting dogs from the […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Greece: House arrest for police officer in shooting of teen