Protest against police brutality becomes violent in Tel Aviv .
(photo credit: MAARIV)
Ethiopian-Israelis protesting against police brutality clashed with police forces on Wednesday after the mostly peaceful protest exploded into a violent clash between dozens of youths who confronted police near the end of the event.
Six policemen were injured and 11 protesters were arrested.
The youth began to throw rocks and glass bottles as well as burning garbage cans, police forces moved in to restore public order using police helicopters and cars.
"We will not show any tolerance to those who seek to harm public safety," a police spokesperson said. The protest was called after Yehuda Biadga, 24, rushed at a police officer who shot and killed him earlier this month.
Biadga’s family said he was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
The protest attracted thousands of people, Ethiopian-Israelis as well as non-black Israelis. Social-activists and Ethiopian community leaders spoke highly of the benefit of keeping the protest peaceful just moments before the clashes started.
Protest leaders said that the event closed at the evening time in a peaceful and law abiding manner, "thousands of people took part in it today and we regret the media focuses on the violence done by a handful of people " they told Maariv, the sister publication of the Jerusalem Post.
They said that the rage is "understandable and is the result of excessive policing," they also spoke out against violent behavior and called the forces employed by police "disproportional" to the small amount of law-breakers.
"The police did all that they were able in order to minimize damage to daily routine," said Israel Police Commissioner Nitzav Cohen, according to Israel's Channel 7 News. "Unfortunately, during the protest a small group of young people decided to commit acts of violence and vandalism, but their destructive behavior did not succeed in overshadowing the impressive accomplishment of the respectful and powerful protest of the [Ethiopian] community."
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