ATHENS, Greece (AP) — New protests broke out Wednesday in Athens and Thessaloniki, Greece’s second-largest city, over the fatal shooting of a Roma youth during a weekend altercation with police following a car chase.
A main highway in the Greek capital was briefly closed to traffic after Roma youths lit fires and threw stones at police. Similar violence broke out in a Roma-majority area on the outskirts of Athens. In Thessaloniki, youths clashed with police after a protest march organized by far-left groups.
No arrests or injuries were reported. Similar protests broke out over previous days.
A police officer has been charged with the intentional homicide of the 17-year-old Roma boy late Saturday. Police said the shooting occurred after a lengthy, high-speed car chase when a vehicle with four Roma youths refused to stop for a police check and sped away. When the car finally came to a stop near Thebes, northwest of Athens, the 17-year-old driver was fatally shot under unclear circumstances by an officer who arrived on the spot.
The officer, who has not been identified, was suspended Wednesday, police said.
Roma protesters and human rights groups accuse Greek police of using excessive, and sometimes fatal, violence against members of the country’s Roma minority.