Israeli Minister Says Police Chief Didn't Justify Overpolicing Ethiopians
Defending the commissioner, who said it was natural for cops to be more suspicious of Israelis of Ethiopian descent, Minister Gilad Erdan says police are working to mend past mistakes.
Chaim Levinson Aug 31, 2016 10:33 AM
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Cops detain an Israeli of Ethiopian descent during a demonstration against police brutality, July 4, 2016.Ofer Vaknin
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Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan came to the defense of Commissioner Roni Alsheich, who earlier on Tuesday said it was natural for cops to be more suspicious of members of the Israeli-Ethiopian community.
"The police chief didn't justify the overpolicing phenomenon against Israelis of Ethiopian descent," Erdan said later on Tuesday. "He did exactly the opposite."
Speaking at an Israel Bar Association conference, Alsheich said research shows that immigrants and young people are disproportionately involved in crime. “When these two things come together," Alsheich said, "it turns out that a particular community is statistically involved in crime more than others. When a policeman encounters a suspect, [the policeman’s] mind suspects him more than it would if he were someone else.”
Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan and Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich, August 3, 2016.Moti Milrod
He acknowledged, however, that the police were late in dealing with the issue of violence involving police and Ethiopian Israelis.
Several high-profile cases involving apparent violent or verbally abusive conduct by the police against Ethiopian Israelis sparked major demonstrations last year.
Erdan said that Alsheich's remarks were an admission of the problem, and an attempt to explain the mindset of cops involved in overpolicing incidents.
read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.739525