As protest marches and skirmishes between police and Roma demonstrators, along with the burning of large municipal trash bins on streets, a main avenue, and a national highway took place today in Attica, Patras, and Thessaloniki over yesterday’s shooting in the head of a 16-year-old Roma boy, Kostas Frangoulis – who was chased by police on motorcycles because he left a gas station in his pickup truck (photo) where the policemen were sitting without paying his 20 euro bill – evidence from CCTV video from the gas station and shops on the course of the chase indicate that the four DIAS policemen on two motorcycles broke all the rules in the book in dealing with the incident.
Contrary to a Greek Police press release yesterday stating that police were nearby and alerted about the incident, they were in fact sitting in the interior area of the gas station and told by the employee about what happened, so they were aware that they were chasing the boy for a 20 euro theft.
Frangoulis, after an operation to remove the bullet at Thessaloniki’s Ippokrateion Hospital is fighting for his life, which is “hanging by a thread”, as doctors there were quoted by Mega television and other media as saying.
New video shows lead-up and shooting
A video posted today on the webpage brake.net, which states that it comes from the CCTV of a store on the chase path, shows that Frangoulis made a turn with his pickup truck, which was open and had a glass pane right behind the head of the driver’s seat, as he was being pursued by the two police motorcycles. A few seconds later – just about 500 metres down the road – one of the policemen shot the boy in the back of the head.
The policeman now says that he was aiming for the tyre of the pickup truck and that the movement of the motorcycle resulted in the bullet being lodged in Frangoulis’ head.
CCTV video inside gas station
The CCTV video from inside the gas station when Frangoulis left show four DIAS (motorcycle policing group) policemen being informed by the employee that the pickup truck driver left without paying. They immediately wore their gear and left the premises to chase down the vehicle.
The BrakeNet Twitter post
Security CCTV footage of a store shows the pickup truck, driven by Kostas Fragoulis, turning and being chased by two motorcycles of the DIAS police team. 500m down the road, a few seconds later, one of the policemen shot the 16-year-old.
Rules broken by police
The four policemen who chased the pickup truck knew that his crime was not paying a 20 euro bill and that there was a single youth in the vehicle, and not hardened and possibly armed criminals who could pose a danger to others.
A relevant police directive states that officers in order to begin a chase must await backups in order to avoid possible injuries and accidents in the surrounding area, and that they may shoot at tyres only in extraordinary circumstances.
Another regulation that was violated was the distance that must be kept from the vehicle being chased in order to avoid ramming.
Similarities with the Sambanis case
Many have noted similarities between the shooting of Fragoulis and the killing of another Roma youth, Nikos Sambanis, who was chased while driving a stolen car and killed in the Perama area of Piraeus a year ago, in October, 2021.
When police had immobilised the vehicle, Sambanis was killed in a hail of 38 bullets from policemen’s guns.