The officer involved in the shooting death of an Ethiopian Israeli teenager was released from house arrest Monday afternoon, after police investigators indicated they would not request an extension of the officer’s arrest.
Judge Maria Pikus Bogdanov ordered the officer released, with an order barring him from leaving the country for the next three months, and requiring that he leave his passport with authorities for the duration of the order.
The Department for Investigations of Police had earlier ruled against requesting an extension to the officer’s request, after evidence backed up the officer’s description of the incident.
In addition, investigators handling the case reduced the charge sheet being prepared against the officer from manslaughter to wrongful death. While manslaughter carries a sentence of twenty years, wrong death has a maximum penalty of twelve.
Police arrested the officer two weeks ago, following the shooting death of 19-year-old Solomon Tekah.
Tekah was shot and killed by the off-duty police officer two weeks ago in Haifa’s Kiryat Haim neighborhood, after he allegedly hurled stones at the officer and the officer’s family.
The officer said that he had been attacked after he tried to prevent three drunken youths from attacking a 13-year-old boy on the street. Tekah, who had been under house arrest following a series of arrests, attacked the officer, according to DNA tests conducted on stones thrown at the officer.
Last week, a report based on a ballistics examination confirmed that the bullet which killed Tekah was fired at the ground, and struck Tekah only after it ricocheted off the ground.
The report verified the officer’s claim that he shot at the ground hoping to scare away his assailants, and had not fire directly at Tekah.