Following the conviction of former Minneapolis Minnesota police officer Derek Chauvin on Tuesday, April 20, for the murder of George Floyd in a brutal act of racist violence on May 25, 2020, Joint List MKs from Hadash have drawn the parallel with acts of police violence against minority communities in Israel, calling for legal accountability – the just and proportionate punishment of cops responsible for unnecessary killings and other physical harm to civilians.
On Wednesday, April 21, Hadash MK Ofer Cassif tweeted: “The officer who murdered George Floyd on racial grounds in the United States was convicted of murder last night. In the last two decades, dozens of citizens, most of them Arabs, have been murdered in Israel by police, and only three officers have been convicted, and [these were only] given light sentences. Justice for Teka and al-Hallaq, justice for all victims of the racist police violence in Israel!” Cassif wrote.
Head of the Joint List, Hadash MK Ayman Oden, similarly tweeted: “The policeman who murdered George Floyd was convicted last night in the United States, while in Israel the police continue to protect the killers of Iyad al-Hallaq and Salomon Teka.”
Last May, an Israeli border policeman shot and killed Iyad al-Hallaq, 32, an autistic, unarmed Palestinian resident of East Jerusalem while the victim and his caretaker were on their way to the school where al-Hallaq worked in the Old City. The caretaker’s pleadings for the police not to continue shooting were ignored. The cop who fatally shot al-Hallaq multiple times faces possible trial for “negligent homicide” only. His commanding officer who was at the scene has been absolved of any guilt and faces no charges. In another fatal incident apparently spawned by racism, a police officer who was tried for the negligent homicide of 19-year-old Ethiopian-Israeli Salomon Teka has been restored to full-time operational status. “Convicting the killers will be a first step on the path to justice for the [victims’] families, and an end to racist police violence against civilians,” Odeh wrote.