Police Officer Who Shot 18-Year-Old Near Haifa Found Not Guilty


An Israeli court on Tuesday found a police officer not guilty for the death of an 18-year-old five years ago near Haifa.

Solomon Tekah was fatally shot in 2019 by an off-duty officer in Kiryat Haim who had encountered a group of youths, including Tekah, allegedly involved in a street altercation. The officer, attempting to halt the confrontation and feeling threatened as the youths threw stones at him, fired a warning shot. Unfortunately, one of the bullets ricocheted and struck Tekah, resulting in his death.

During the trial, the prosecution argued that the officer’s warning shots, fired at the ground instead of into the air and contrary to training orders, constituted negligence. The defense countered that the officer, having been struck by two stones prior to firing, was justified in his actions, aiming to injure in self-defense rather than acting negligently.

The court found several key points in favor of the policeman that led to his acquittal. Some of the witnesses were found to be uncredible; tests showed the young man who was shot might have been under the influence of alcohol and drugs; and the evidence backed up the officer’s story that he shot in self-defense to protect himself and his family without intending to kill.
Tekah’s death led to widespread outrage and triggered days of protest across Israel by members of the Ethiopian Jewish community and their supporters, fueled by systemic discrimination, racism, and police brutality.

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