Lawyer for cop who killed teen says he acted in self defense, slams ‘lies’

The lawyer for a police officer who shot and killed 19-year-old Solomon Tekah, setting off days of widespread protests, insists his client acted in self defense.

He says the officer was with his family when an altercation occurred with Tekah and others that placed him and his family in danger.

“If he had not acted how he did, it’s possible my client would be dead and his family would be harmed,” attorney Yair Nedashi says.

He says the officer did not aim his gun at Tekah or anyone else and did not act out of racist motivation against the Ethiopian-Israeli teen.

Worka and Wbjig Tekah hold a picture of their son Solomon Tekah, 19, who was killed by an off duty police officer on July 1, 2019, at their home in the Israeli city of Haifa on July 3, 2019. (MENAHEM KAHANA / AFP)

“Enough with the lies and the threats. Let the authorities finish their investigation,” he says. He also described claims against the officer as a “witch hunt.”

The lawyer says the officer, who has not been named and was placed under house arrest over the killing, is in hiding with his family.

Eyewitnesses to the Sunday night altercation say Tekah never posed a danger to the officer.

Media reports earlier in the week indicated that the cop said he had aimed his gun toward the ground but the bullet ricocheted and hit Tekah, killing him.