In another move that seems more reminiscent of Selma, Alabama in 1962 and many Third World countries today than it does a Western democracy, Israel’s Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein announced he is closing the case against the white policeman who beat Ethiopian Jewish IDF soldier Damas Pakada, apparently without provocation, in late April in Holon. The reason? "Lack of public interest."
Above: Police attacking Damas Pakada
AG Drops Case Against White Cop Who Beat Ethiopian Jewish IDF Soldier, Cops Taser Young Ethiopian Jew, Protests Begin Anew
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
In another move that seems more reminiscent of Selma, Alabama in 1962 and many Third World countries today than it does a Western democracy, Israel’s Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein announced he is closing the case against the white policeman who beat Ethiopian Jewish IDF soldier Damas Pakada, apparently without provocation, in late April in Holon.
The incident was filmed by a security camera. But police made no effort to locate that security camera footage. Instead, they arrested Pakada for assaulting a police officer and threw him in jail.
But Pakada’s family located the security camera footage and released it on the Internet, embarrassing police and the government and sparking large nationwide protests against police and government racism and against police violence.
The charges against Pakada were eventually dropped, in part due to the widespread public outrage against police, and he was invited to the Prime Minister’s Residence and to the President’s Residence in public shows of support.
Then several months passed, the protested died down and, despite the public pronouncement by police and government officials, no significant progress was made in the way police handle cases involving Ethiopian Jews or in stopping governmental discrimination against them.
And now Weinstein has decided to drop the case against the white policemen. Why? Because, Weinstein reportedly said, there is now a lack of "public interest” in the case.
Israel’s beleaguered, woebegone and inept police chose this very moment in time to do what it does better than almost anything else – screw up.
Another video was released by civilians showing police, apparently wantonly, using a taser against a young Ethiopian man. The footage, shot by a neighbor, reportedly shows the Ethiopian Jew being asked by police to enter a patrol car. Seconds later, police shoot him with a taser and the man screams, "call my parents, call my parents!"
And that, combined with Weinstein’s decision to drop the case against the white police officer in the Pakada beating – and his 1984-speak reason for doing so – has sparked new protests, beginning outside National Police Headquarters this afternoon.
"There are no words. It is an embarrassment that a policeman allows himself, because a citizen is black, to come and bother him, to come and shoot him with a taser. We are tired of walking around like this - being frightened to go outside because you know you might encounter a policeman,” Inbar Bogale, an Ethiopian Jew who is one the key organizers of today’s protest and of the previous protests, reportedly told Israel’s Channel 2 News.