Menidi residents clash with police, demand crime crackdown

Menidi residents clash with police, demand crime crackdown

The killing of an 11-year-old boy by a stray bullet last week and the tensions stoked by the incident in one of Attica’s most downgraded districts, have prompted local authorities in Menidi to increase demands for more policing and specifically for a new police station near the school where they boy died.

The municipal authority has chartered 20 buses to carry protesters on Tuesday from the area to the Citizens’ Protection Ministry on Kanellopoulou Street, a major artery near central Athens, where they are to stage a rally.

Protesters want the government to implement measures promised in May 2015 by then minister Yiannis Panousis during a visit to the school after it was badly looted and vandalized.

The upheaval came after violence erupted for a third day in a row as residents blaming Roma neighbors for the shooting clashed with police.

Dozens of protesters gathered at the Menidi Proastiakos suburban railway station to shout insults and hurl stones and Molotov cocktails at a Roma camp on the other side of the tracks on Monday, after similar action on Saturday ended with camp residents shooting pistols and rifles into the air to frighten off the mob that was held at bay by riot police.

On Friday, unknown assailants firebombed two houses near the school where the 11-year-old was killed, believing the suspect to be in one of them.

Meanwhile a 23-year-old man, who admitted to having fired a gun on the night in question, but denied that it was a 9mm pistol of the kind believed to have shot the fatal bullet, was sentenced to 40 months in jail.

He was released after the misdemeanors court that sentenced him accepted a request by his lawyer that his sentence be suspended for three years.

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