Israeli police establish new unit in wake of Ethiopian’s death

The plan, according to the report, is to increase diversity within the Israel Police to better reflect the different backgrounds of the population.

By World Israel News Staff 

On the heels of the shooting death of Solomon Tekah on June 30 by an off-duty Israeli police officer, and accusations of police brutality toward members of the Ethiopian community, a new unit will be set up in the police force.

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan and Acting Police Commissioner Motti Cohen have decided the unit will focus on “over-policing” and diversity, reports the Israel Hayom newspaper.

It will be called “The Gender Equality and Cultural Diversity Unit.”

The unit will take care of complaints of “over-policing,” something that the Ethiopian community has complained about for some time, which refers in part to overreaction by police when dealing with Ethiopians in comparison to other segments of society.

The unit will also be responsible for instilling multicultural awareness among officers.

To bolster the standing of the new unit within the force, it has been decided to make its personnel “directly answerable” to the police commissioner.

The new unit is to operate on a national level as well as within the various districts of the country, says the report.

The unit will also work to increase diversity within the Israel Police to better reflect the different backgrounds of the population.

“We are today establishing a police unit that will work to uproot all forms of discrimination wherever it exists within the police and will supervise disciplinary matters to ensure that all unworthy behavior by police is handled with severity,” said Erdan, adding that police must be familiar with the different cultures of the citizens with whom they interact.

The police officer who killed Tekah said that the deceased had been acting in a way which posed a threat to him and his family, with whom he was spending some leisure time.

An internal investigation has shown that the officer had fired at the ground but that the bullet ricocheted and fatally struck Tekah.

It was not the first time that members of the Ethiopian community have complained of racism and police brutality. The community initially reacted with massive protests, causing traffic jams nationwide that at times turning violent.