Ethiopian-Israeli protesters vow to ‘shut down the state’ if cop isn’t prosecuted for deadly shooting

Following the traditional seven-day mourning period for the teenage victim of a recent deadly police shooting, Ethiopian-Israeli demonstrators took to the streets to demand government action.

By World Israel News Staff and AP

Police were out in force on Monday as Ethiopian-Israelis and their supporters rallied, demanding justice for Solomon Tekah, 18, who was shot by an off-duty policeman last week.

Dozens of mothers marched through Tel Aviv in a show of rising anger over the police officer’s fatal shooting of the Ethiopian-Israeli teenager.

The protests began nearly immediately after the shooting, with certain demonstrations devolving into violent clashes with law enforcement. According to the protesters, Tekah’s killing represents another incident in a pattern of police brutality and discrimination.

While the police officer who shot Tekah remains under investigation by the Justice Ministry, community members are demanding a strong reaction from the government.

Ahead of Monday’s protests, Avi Yalo, a community activist who helped organize the demonstrations, commented to Israel Hayom, “The government, instead of doing a thorough investigation, is busy turning reporters against the Ethiopian community. They say that the protests are financed by leftist organizations — all this shows that there’s no intention to learn any lessons. In this situation, there’s no choice but to shut down the state – not only for a few hours but for whole days. We’re fed up with endless talk.”

Israel’s community of Ethiopian immigrants, which makes up less than 2 percent of the population, has long alleged government neglect and police harassment.