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Attorney General may reopen case of cop who beat Ethiopian Israeli soldier

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Unprovoked beating of Damas Pakada by a police officer and a police volunteer was caught on security cameras • Former Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein had closed the case • Ethiopian advocacy group Tebeka: We hope this will lead to justice.


Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit is considering reopening a case against a police officer caught on camera beating Ethiopian-Israeli IDF soldier Damas Pakada, his office said Monday.

The Attorney General's Office said in a statement that after Mendelblit had reviewed verbal and written requests to re-examine the case, and looked at all the relevant issues, he was considering reversing his predecessor's decision to close the case.

The incident, which took place in April 2015 and was caught on security cameras, caused a public outcry and prompted a wave of protests by Ethiopian-Israelis. The footage shows police officer Yan Subichky asking Pakada, then 19, to leave the scene after the street where he lived was cordoned off due to a bomb threat. Then, for reasons that remain unclear -- and unprovoked by the soldier -- the officer is seen jumping him and beating him, as a police volunteer joins in.

Former Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein had closed the case and no major action was taken against the officer involved, even within the police framework.

In May of 2015, Pakada sued the Israel Police for 390,000 shekels ($103,000) in compensation for the beating.

The Ethiopian social justice advocacy group Tebeka welcomed the development.

"The decision [by Mendelblit] comes after extensive efforts and many meetings, and we hope that it will eventually lead to justice being done," the group said in a statement.