Thousands take to streets in Greece in protest over 2008 shooting of teenager

Helena Smith in Athens

Thousands of people have joined protests in Athens, Thessaloniki and other Greek cities to commemorate the fatal police shooting of a teenager, hours after violence erupted over a similar incident in the north of the country. Police estimated more than 11,000 protesters had joined protests on Tuesday amid fears of renewed clashes as a Romany boy, shot in the head by an officer, fought for his life.

“Stop these murderous policies,” chanted protesters. More than 4,000 law enforcement personnel, backed by heavily armed riot police, were dispatched around Athens. The victim, identified as Kostas Frangoulis, 16, a member of the Roma community in Thessaloniki, was severely wounded as he was pursued by a mechanised police division after allegedly failing to pay a €20 (£17) fuel bill at a petrol station.

The incident came on the eve of the anniversary of the death of Alexis Grigoropoulos – a teenager killed in 2008 by an officer in Athens’ Exarchia district – and once again cast a spotlight on the tactics of a police force frequently criticised for its heavy-handedness and brutality. The controversial circumstances of Grigoropoulos’s death unleashed the worst riots in decades nationwide…..