Cop who shot dead Ethiopian-Israeli released from arrest

July, 2019

A police officer whose killing of a 19-year-old Ethiopian-Israeli sparked nationwide protests was freed from house arrest Monday but faces court-ordered restrictions in light of expected charges of reckless homicide.

The suspect is barred from entering the Zevulun police station for 45 days and is prevented from visiting the scene of the killing. A representative of the Justice Ministry’s Police Internal Investigations Department told the Haifa Magistrate’s Court that a decision has not yet been made on whether the officer will be allowed to return to work.

The officer, who has not been publicly named, was off duty when he shot Solomon Tekah on June 30 in Haifa. He has claimed he was trying to break up a street fight and was set upon by three youths who hurled stones at him, endangering his life. He said he did not target Tekah, and instead fired at the ground.

The officer is expected to face charges of reckless homicide, which carries a sentence of up to 12 years in jail. This new categorization, which came into existence five days ago in a justice system reform, is applicable when a suspect is thought to have taken an unreasonable risk but without the intention of causing death — e.g., playing with a loaded weapon or driving dangerously.

Source: Times of Israel