'Ethiopian immigrants are citizens too, not terrorists'

Likud MK accuses police of excessive force in death of Ethiopian ex-soldier who was shot after he ran wild brandishing a knife.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Yehuda Biadga
Yehuda Biadga
Courtesy of the family

Chairman of the Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs Committee MK Dr. Avraham Negosa (Likud) has accused law enforcement authorities of using excessive force in neutralizing a former IDF soldier with apparent mental issues, saying the incident Friday in Bat Yam shows police have failed ot learn the lessons of previous confrontations.

On Friday, 24-year-old Yehuda Biadga, a former IDF soldier who was released from duty due to trauma, was shot to death by the Bat Yam police after he was reported running wild with a knife in an apartment stairwell.

Police say that when officers spotted Biadga and ordered him to halt, the former IDF soldier charged them, with the knife still in hand. Fearing for their lives, the police department says, one of the officers fired two rounds at Biadga's midsection, neutralizing him. Biadga was evacuated to a local hospital, but died soon after his arrival.

"My condolences are with the family in this very tragic and sad incident," Negosa told Arutz Sheva. "This man had served in the Israel Defense Forces and is a citizen who deserves protection... It is now impossible for the family to request assistance from the police and they ultimately have to bury their son."

“I call upon the Minister of Public Security and the Minister of Justice to bring an end to these tragedies that are taking place among Ethiopian Jews. The previous police commissioner said unequivocally that the color [makes them] suspicious. No one denied it. Everyone is shocked by the incident. What should be done now and quickly is to investigate and prosecute those responsible," Negosa said.

Negosa asks why the police officer shot to kill, and cited several reports which claimed the officer had fired towards Biadga's head.

”According to media reports, the police officer shot to the head, why? The young man wasn’t carrying any firearm. They were supposed to keep him alive. In the worst possible scenario, the police officer could have shot him towards the legs and not kill him."

According to Negosa, the police keep repeating mistakes they’ve made in previous confrontations.

“I’ve submitted a bill in the past that police officers in the field be required to wear body cameras. A decision was made by the police to do just that. Why hasn’t it been implemented? The time has come to end the excessive policing of the Ethiopian community. We’ve made great efforts to create a trust between the community and the police. Budgets have been invested in workshops and the police are repeating their mistakes. The Ethiopian immigrants are civilians, they’re not terrorists. It cannot be that in a properly run country like Israel, there are police officers that act however they want.“