Following the demands to publish the name of the policeman who attacked an Ethiopian Israeli soldier, police are warning of backlash from the Ethiopian community.
Watch: Unnamed police officer attacks Israeli soldier of Ethiopean descent
An ongoing legal battle has been waging between Damas Pikada, an Israeli soldier of Ethiopian descent, and the police officer who attacked him. The former has requested that the courts publicize the name of the police officer, which has been under seal pursuant to a gag order, since the incident took place. Today (Thursday), two weeks after the Attorney General announced his intention to file an indictment against the police officer, the Israel Police submitted a controversial report recommending that the gag order remain.
“After observing the wave of reactions to the policeman’s case and from our deep familiarity with the issue of threats and shaming on the Internet, it is evident that should the name of the policeman be publicized, he will end up being threatened,” said the Israel Police report submitted by Superintendent Sasi Mizrachi, head of the Threat Management Unit of the Israel Police. “I would like to point out that previous cases of threats against police officers from the Ethiopian community were accompanied by severe threats on the Internet and incitement to the point that we had to arrest those who threatened and instigated.”
“The police report is a racist response that marks all members of the Ethiopian community and presents all of them as violent,” said Pikada’s lawyer, Eyal Abulafia. “The police do not learn from the past, have not learned its lessons and relates to an entire community as if they were all criminal lawbreakers.”
The incident took place in April 2015 when the unnamed police officer was filmed hitting Pikada. The footage created uproar and led to numerous protests by members of the Ethiopian community.