Charges reduced against cop in Ethiopian teen's death

Attorney Yair Nadshi, who represents the police officer, responds his client being charged negligent homicide


Salomon Tekah's family
Salomon Tekah's family
Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Officials from the Israeli police department's internal investigations division met today (Tuesday) with relatives of Solomon Tekah, the Ethiopian-Israeli teen killed after an off-duty policy officer fired a warning shot during an altercation, to update them on their decision regarding the prosecution of the officer in question.

On Tuesday, the police officer was charged with negligent homicide, rather than manslaughter, which had been originally considered by prosecutors. Negligent homicide carries a maximum sentence of three years in prison, while manslaughter carries a maximum sentence of 20 years.

Attorney Yair Nadshi, who represents the police officer, spoke to 103FM regarding the development.

"Today, I will receive the decision of internal investigation office in the case of my client. According to leaked claims, he will be charged with negligent homicide and not manslaughter."

What's your opinion on that?

"There is no case to charge him with any crime. His actions, in the situation he was in, were correct. He acted out of self defense.

What evidence supports your claims?

"I'm afraid I cannot answer that until the case begins in court. According to reports in the press, there is a ballistic report and a post-mortem report that support my clients claims and prove that my client did not aim at the victim, but only shot for effect."

The case caused a huge controversy, with huge demonstrations among the Ethiopian community. Has that hurt your client's chances?

"My opinion, as well as others that share it, is that if this case wouldn't have become so public my client wouldn't be charged with any crime.

You are saying something dramatic, that your client's case is dependent on public pressure.

"Public pressure is part of the system. It's part of the law, a case can be closed if there is no public interest."

How does your client feel?

"His situation is not good. His life is in danger, he cannot continue his life as normal.

Does he want to return to the police?

He wants to. We want him to have a hearing in order to return to work.