Policeman who beat Ethiopian-Israeli soldier called for dismissal hearing

soldier-635x357Final decision on employment of officer whose actions sparked anti-discrimination protests to be made in coming days.

The Israeli police officer who was caught on video beating an Ethiopian-Israeli soldier met with police officials at a dismissal hearing on Monday.

Another policeman seen in the video was a volunteer officer, who has since been banned from serving with the police.

The beating of Damas Pakada was among the catalysts for Ethiopian-Israeli protests against police brutality and racism that turned violent in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv this month.

Ethiopian-Israeli activists have repeatedly called for the officer’s dismissal.

On Sunday, protest leaders from the Ethiopian-Israeli community demanded that the government improve education and housing, and set up ministerial committees to address Ethiopian needs. They also demanded that charges against community members arrested at a recent riot in Tel Aviv be dropped.

At a press conference in Tel Aviv, a panel of activist leaders expressed their frustration with what they said was the government’s shortcomings in addressing the quality of life of the Ethiopian-Israeli community.

Members of the Ethiopian-Israeli community say they are protesting years of institutional racism and discrimination, as well as ongoing police brutality.

The activists stated Sunday that not only was the national government to blame for the situation, but also the local authorities. They called for greater monitoring to ensure that the Ethiopian community is not marginalized.

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