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Wednesday, July 03, 2019 

A policeman in Haifa shot a black man, starting a riot

Something very sad's taken place this week, caused by a possible racist in uniform. The Jerusalem Post described it in an editorial:
It’s become an all-too-familiar scenario: a trigger-happy policeman, a black victim and claims of racism and brutality.

No, we’re not talking about the United States, but right here in Israel.

The latest incident, which threatens to rouse mass protests from the Ethiopian community, took place on Sunday night in Kiryat Haim, near Haifa.

Solomon Tekah, an 18-year-old Ethiopian-Israeli, was shot and killed by an off-duty police officer.

Israel Police said the officer was trying to separate two youths who were quarreling while Tekah was at a playground with his wife and children.

“He approached the group of people that were involved in the fight and after making it clear to the group that he was a policeman, they started throwing stones at him,” the police said in a statement.

The officer, who was injured by the rocks and later hospitalized, responded by shooting his gun toward the ground. Police investigators are checking whether the bullet may have ricocheted off the ground and hit Tekah.

However, an eyewitness claimed that the officer was the one who instigated the incident, threatening the youths with his weapon. The officer was detained on Monday morning for questioning, but released to house arrest several hours later.

A few dozen people protested in front of the police station on Monday, including Tekah’s father, Verka Nazara Tekah.

“We’re looking for justice,” he said. “He only came to play with his friends,” adding that his son was raised with good values and was hoping to serve in an IDF infantry unit. “How did they take this from me?”

Tekah’s death is only the latest incident where it seems that there are two versions of the events: the police version and the how witnesses and victims saw it. It also points a finger at ongoing police behavior toward Israelis of Ethiopian descent, which is starkly different than the way non-Ethiopian Israelis are treated.

Many leaders of the Ethiopian-Israeli community – including former Likud MK Avraham Neguise – say they are unfairly targeted and are treated more harshly than other citizens.

According to police statistics, investigations into alleged assaults on police officers by Israelis of Ethiopian origin doubled from 6% to 12% of total probes from 2007 to 2015.
Racism over here, alas, exists, some of which was started by leftists. And now, the really terrible part is that yes, riots did occur, leading to dozens of injuries and arrests. While these riots are ludicrous, it's still no excuse for any cruelty the police have inflicted on innocents of Ethiopian descent. That's why the law system here is in serious need of improvement.

Update: here's an Israel Hayom op-ed on the subject.

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