‘Hands off youth!’ Greeks protest on 10th anniversary of cop fatally shooting teen (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)
Around 1,700 people marched in a protest in Athens, according to AP. Although most of the demonstrators were peaceful, some youths set fire to trash in the streets and set up barricades in the Exarchia district – the same area where 15-year-old Alexis Grigoropoulos was shot dead in 2008.
The protesters chanted “Hands off youth!” and “No fascists in schools!” as they marched to parliament, Reuters reported.
Earlier on Thursday, a separate protest in the Greek capital saw police deploy tear gas at youths who threw rocks and other objects at officers and smashed bus stops. Around 700 people took part in that protest, according to AP.
Around 2,500 police officers and a helicopter were deployed for the Thursday protests in Athens, while the main metro station at Syntagma Square was temporarily closed.
Demonstrations also hit the city of Thessaloniki, with protesters setting up barricades in the streets and hurling Molotov cocktails at officers who responded by using stun grenades and tear gas. Some demonstrators set fires at a metro construction site.
Grigoropoulos was shot dead by an officer during a night out with friends in Exarchia in 2008, after an officer turned his gun on him following an altercation.
The policeman, Epaminondas Korkoneas, said he had not aimed for the teen, but that he was killed by a ricochet. He was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison. His appeals trial is ongoing. The second policeman present was sentenced to 10 years behind bars and granted conditional release several years ago.
The teenager's death prompted the biggest riots that Greece had seen in decades, lasting two weeks and spreading to cities across the country. The demonstrations saw youths smash storefronts, loot shops, burn buildings and cars, and set up flaming barricades in the streets.
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