The big protest held in Tel Aviv by the Ethiopian community was against what they claim as police brutality and rampant discrimination.
The rally emerged amid mounting anger after a police officer shot and killed Yehuda Biadga on January 18. Biadga, a member of the community, was shot dead by when he charged the officer with a knife. The family of the guy claims he suffered from mental issues.
The rally at Rabin Square, which followed a march that shuttered major thoroughfares and junctions, turned violent just earlier when several dozen of the protesters began a vandalism spree down Ibn Gabirol St.
The group broke away from the main demonstration and began running down the street, outside the area cordoned off by police for the protest, many with their faces covered.
They began accosting drivers and passersby on the sidewalk and on mopeds, knocking over parked motorcycles and damaging parked cars while shouting slogans against the police.
The protesters trashed at least one sidewalk cafe, overturning tables and chairs, throwing them against the cafe’s windows, and arguing with patrons. Several demonstrators assaulted at least one journalist at the scene. The group made its way into a residential area of Tel Aviv, with organizers of the main event in pursuit, trying to rein them in.
The bulk of the protest remained nonviolent, however, and began to disperse after 9 p.m.
Earlier in the afternoon, about 1,000 protesters had marched onto the the Ayalon Highway at the Hashalom interchange, stopping traffic for several hours and causing major jams in the entire greater Tel Aviv region.
The protest was called amid mounting anger after a police officer shot and killed Yehuda Biadga on January 18.