Clashes in Athens as protesters mark anniversary of teen shooting

Evarado Alatorre
Diciembre 9, 2018

There were similar incidents in the northern city of Thessaloniki and the rallies continued into the night.

In Athens, authorities deployed about 2,500 police and a helicopter for marches planned to remember Alexis Grigoropoulos, a 15-year-old who died on a night out with friends in the Exarchia district of the capital after being shot by a policeman following an altercation on December 6, 2008.

Demonstrators in Greece threw firebombs and pelted police with rocks Thursday as marches on the 10th anniversary of the fatal police shooting of a teenager degenerated into violence.

After the evening march, police fired tear gas to disperse protesters hurling petrol bombs at them in the bohemian Exarchia district, where the unarmed boy was killed.

Parts of the downtown Thessaloniki were also closed on Thursday for a rally scheduled to start at noon.

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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 later said he had not aimed for the boy but that the teen had been killed by a ricochet.

The teenager's death sparked the most extensive riots Greece had seen in decades.

Some 2,500 police and a helicopter were deployed.

The riots lasted for weeks, with cars torched, windows smashed, and shops looted. His appeals trial is ongoing. The second policeman present was sentenced to 10 years in prison and was granted conditional release several years ago.

The annual event to commemorate Grigoropoulos has often been the theatre of clashes between protesters and police officers.

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