Protests erupt as cop who shot Ethiopian-Israeli teen released on bail

Ethiopian-Israelis took to the streets in Jerusalem on Monday afternoon after the Magistrate’s Court in Haifa‏‏‏ released the policeman accused of shooting Solomon Tekah.


On Monday, the police officer held in the fatal shooting of teen Solomon Tekah was released from house arrest, sparking outcry among the Ethiopian-Israeli community and their supporters.

The judge rejected a request presented by the Police’s Investigation Unit for a NIS 50,000 bond and other limitations to be set for the accused officer, saying there was no real concern of obstruction of justice. She did, however, forbid the officer from entering the department he was working in or using the police computer system.

Tekah’s family has been critical of the treatment the policeman has received so far and joined the demonstration outside the Knesset on Monday. The demonstrators blocked roads near the Israeli parliament while marching towards the Supreme Court, as police arrested seven protestors and fought back demonstrators who attempted to obstruct roads in the center of the city.

The shooting, which ignited massive riots by Ethiopian-Israelis across the country, is still under investigation.

Unrest flared up again when the officer was released on Monday, with members of the Ethiopian community claiming Tekah was wrongfully shot based on racial bias. The officer says he shot at the ground, acting in self-defense when the group whom Tekah was with turned on him. According to an internal investigation by law enforcement, the bullet that killed Tekah ricocheted off the ground before fatally wounding the teen.

The officer will likely face charges of reckless homicide, reported Times of Israel, for which the officer could receive a sentence of up to 12 years in jail.

Riots immediately followed the shooting included torching of cars, the blocking of major routes, and mass assaults on police stations and police forces in several cities.