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Cop charged over death of Ethiopian Israeli teen deemed unfit for public service

The Civil Service Commissioner, Daniel Hershkowitz, rules that an officer charged with causing the shooting death of a teenager of Ethiopian descent in 2019 cannot serve as a public servant, Channel 13 reports.

The officer responsible for the death of Solomon Tekah, whose name is barred from publication, was recently reinstated by the Israel Police and then moved to the fire department amid an outcry.

The announcement of the officer’s return had caused anger among Israel’s Ethiopian community, which perceived the death of Tekah in Haifa as a reflection of racism and discrimination within the police ranks, and held mass protests for several weeks.

Worka and Wbjig Tekah hold a picture of their son Solomon Tekah, 19, who was killed by an off-duty police officer, at their home in the Israeli city of Haifa, on July 3, 2019. (Menahem Kahana/AFP)

The shooting occurred in the Haifa neighborhood of Kiryat Haim. According to an investigation, the off-duty officer, who was with his children, intervened after his wife noticed that some teenagers had taken money from another boy. He then alerted the police hotline to the alleged theft, but the dispatched police car was delayed.

In the interim, according to the investigation, the officer and his family members were pelted with stones, including by Tekah, prompting the officer to draw his weapon and fire at the ground. The bullet ricocheted and killed Tekah.

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