As Protests Set to Renew, Findings Back Cop's Claim He Didn't Shoot at Ethiopian Israeli

Family of 18-year-old Solomon Teka visited his grave as the Jewish mourning period ends ■ Protests over police violence against Israelis of Ethiopian descent set to renew

Solomon Teka's family at his grave near Haifa, Israel, July 8, 2019.
Amir Levy

The ballistic report in the police shooting of an 18-year-old Israeli of Ethiopian descent confirms the shooter's version of events, family members were told Monday.

Keren Bar-Menachem, who heads the Justice Ministry unit tasked with investigating police misconduct, met with members of Solomon Teka's family Monday morning. According to the family, Bar-Menachem told them that the ballistic report shows that the off-duty policeman who shot Teka shot toward the ground, and the bullet ricocheted and hit the 18-year-old's chest.

On Sunday night, the policeman reenacted the shooting under heavy security. His attorney, Yair Nadashi, said that the officer repeated he shot Teka in self-defense.

>> Read more: No one did anything to defuse the Ethiopian-Israeli 'time bomb' | Analysis ■ Arrested, imprisoned, shot: Police violence is pushing Ethiopian Israelis to fear, fury and despair | Opinion

Also on Monday morning, family members visited Teka's grave in Tel Regev Cemetery, marking the end of the Jewish week-long mourning period.

Protests over police violence against the Ethiopian Israeli community are expected to reconvene throughout Israel Monday evening, as the family had called for a halt to protests during the mourning period.

At 5 P.M., protesters plan to march from Hashalom intersection to Rabin Square in Tel Aviv, under the slogan "Mother, make it so that I'm not the next victim."   

Teka's father said after visiting the grave that "I lost my dear son, who did nothing [wrong], despite what people are saying and despite what people are taking advantage of for evil. I put my hope in the judges of Israel and the responsibility upon them to enact justice."

He added, "I paid a dear price, My community paid a dear price. My only hope is that they find justice and they discourage these policemen in order to stop the pain in my soul." He continued, "The bullets that seek out our children, they're fired at the ground, but the bullets find the child, they keep on shooting and hurting us. Enough with this hurt, oppression, and racism. I ask that this be the last flower we bury."

Dozens of people demonstrated Sunday outside the Rishon Letzion police station, and another protest took place in Ramle. On Tuesday, thousands of protesters demonstrated and blocked off major intersections throughout the country for hours, with some of the protests turning violent.

The police arrested about 200 people, and according to the state prosecutor, two of them are still detained. Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said last week that he intends to repair the relationship between the Ethiopian community and the police. As such, he added that the police behaved accordingly toward the protesters.