Over the past five years, police have shot dead 14 Israeli citizens. The department tasked with investigating the killings has closed all but two of the cases. Almost all the suspects were people of color.
The police killing of 24-year-old Ethiopian-Israeli Yehuda Biadga last month sparked outrage among the Ethiopian community in Israel. Many believe that were it not for the color of his skin, he would still be alive today. Biadga, who suffered from PTSD as a result of his army service, was shot while wandering around his neighborhood in the city of Bat Yam while holding a knife. Instead of using a taser or firing warning shots, the officer shot Biadga in the head.
Local Call, +972 Magazine’s Hebrew-language sister site, examined all deadly police shootings in the past five years (the full list is below). An analysis of data, provided by the Justice Ministry’s Police Internal Investigations Department (PIID) shows that almost all suspects killed by police in that time period were people of color. Since 2014, police killed 14 people inside the Green Line in incidents not categorized as nationalistically-motivated or terrorism related. Nine were Palestinian citizens of Israel, three had Mizrahi last names, one of Russian origin, and one Ethiopian.
According to the Police Internal Investigations Department, it has not filed a single indictment against officers involved in any of those deadly shootings. In two of the cases, the PIID did not even open an investigation, while in 10 incidents the department closed the cases without an indictment. Only two of the cases are still open — one of them is Biadga’s.
More broadly, the chances of a complaint against a police officer resulting in an indictment are very low. A report by the State Comptroller from 2017 found that of the approximately 6,300 complaints of violence that reached PIID in 2015, only around 200 (3.2 percent) officers were prosecuted.Read More