The family of Yehuda Biadga, the 24 year old of Ethiopian origin shot dead by a policeman in the central Israeli city of Bat Yam, warned the police on the phone that he suffered from a mental disorder and he did not take his medications said a senior official involved in the investigation.
The family called the police twice asking them to come on the scene for fear that Biadga, who was holding a knife, would hurt someone, the official added.
The official said that passersby who saw Biadga also called the police. One person told the police: "Come soon, he seems to have a sword". The family said they called the police several times on Friday, but they only arrived after about 50 minutes.
To really understand Israel and the Middle East – sign up for Haaretz
The police admitted the phone calls, but said no unusual behavior was reported. They said that the Tel Aviv district receives thousands of such calls annually and most of them are not considered an emergency.
Biadga was released from military service in combat engineers about six months after being drafted, due to psychological trauma. Since then he has lived with his parents, has not worked, took drugs and was even admitted to hospital because of his condition. He received treatment and was in contact with a social worker.
Biadga's mother said her son suffered from post-traumatic stress in the army and did not speak for two years. On filming day he was not at home, but asked a friend of Biagda to call the police when he heard he had left the house. "I was hoping the police would protect him and keep him safe," he said. Nobody from the police spoke to her since Friday, he said.
A family friend told Haaretz: "A 24-year-old boy was deliberately murdered, he has two bullets because he is Ethiopian, politicians do not help us, they killed in cold blood."
A demonstration in Tel Aviv entitled "We demand justice for Yehuda" was announced on Monday, but the family requested that it be postponed until the end of shiva, the traditional seven-day Jewish mourning period. An announcement for the demonstration claimed that Biadga was assassinated by the police, accusing officers of resorting to violence more easily against Ethiopians and other minorities.
Social activist Avi Yalou said, "We repeatedly see how the police use violence against young people of Ethiopian origin, Yehuda's story illustrates even more how quickly the police are on the trigger when it comes to Ethiopia."
Yehuda's mother "finally ordered her son's death," added Yalou. "He thought his son would receive the same treatment and instead gave her back a body." He said police should prosecute the policeman who fired at Biagda and said that the Ministry of Justice department for police investigations is not objective.
The department of the Ministry of Justice for the investigation of police officers is examining the case, but has yet to question the involved policeman, who has returned to work.
The Ethiopian religious leader Keis Avihu Azariya said that the accident could have happened by mistake, but it should be examined. He asked the Ethiopian community not to act out of anger but to engage in peaceful and nonviolent protest.