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Angry Menidi residents gathered outside the Citizen Protection Ministry on Tuesday evening to protest the death of an 11-year-old boy by a stray bullet.
Moreover the protesters demonstrated against the lack of policing in their crime-infested neighborhood, where gangs of Roma sell drugs and often celebrate by shooting in the air. The stray bullet that killed the boy on Thursday came from a handgun a Roma shot in the air during a celebration. A 23-year-old Roma man was apprehended as a suspect but he was released for lack of evidence.
Protesters told Ant1 television that they want guns and drugs out of their schools and neighborhood but authorities do next to nothing to stop the phenomenon. A woman told reporters that her 5-year-old daughter was hit in the head by a stray bullet a few months ago but luckily survived after a long operation.
The crowd was infuriated by a comment made earlier on Tuesday by SYRIZA MP Yiannis Balafas who said the death of the child was “an unfortunate moment.” One of the slogans protesters shouted referred to that comment.
On Monday, Citizen Protection Minister Nikos Toskas publicly admitted that Menidi is a problem area and that it is next to impossible to police. He said that this is an issue festering for years.