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Ethiopian Israelis Protest Racism And Police Brutality In Tel Aviv

Thousands of people joined the rally and march, blocking a highway in the city. Several people were arrested, and police deployed stun grenades as night fell.

Posted on May 3, 2015, at 6:08 p.m. ET

Thousands of members of the Ethiopian community in Israel protested police brutality and racism on Sunday.

Jack Guez / Getty Images

Their march shut down a major highway in the city, and ultimately some clashed with police.

Oded Balilty / AP
Oded Balilty / AP

More than 135,000 Ethiopian Jews live in Israel after two waves of migration in 1984 and 1991.

Oded Balilty / AP

Since then, they've faced violence from police and institutionalized discrimination, protesters said.

Oded Balilty / AP

Sunday's protest came after a video emerged showing a police officer beating an Ethiopian-Israeli soldier.

Baz Ratner / Reuters
Oded Balilty / AP

The police chief said one officer has been fired, and police will meet with local Ethiopian leaders to work for better relationships, the New York Times reported.

Oded Balilty / AP

But the beating was just the latest example of undue punishment faced by young black men in Israel, protesters said.

Jack Guez / Getty Images

The protest also came after months of strife in the U.S. related to policing in black communities.

A man wearing a mask of President Barack Obama holds a sign that in Hebrew refers to Israel's President Benjamin Natanyahu. "Bibi, you had better not let Baltimore reach Israel."
Oded Balilty / AP

A man wearing a mask of President Barack Obama holds a sign that in Hebrew refers to Israel's President Benjamin Natanyahu. "Bibi, you had better not let Baltimore reach Israel."

Tsafrir Abayov / AP
Oded Balilty / AP

Other signs in Hebrew called for jail time for violent police officers.

Jack Guez / Getty Images

One protester blew a whistle next to policemen in a major Tel Aviv intersection.

Baz Ratner / Reuters

"There's no black and white because we are all human," read one sign held by young protesters.

Jack Guez / Getty Images

According to police, 26 people were arrested over the course of the protest.

Tsafrir Abayov / AP
Baz Ratner / Reuters
Jack Guez / Getty Images

After several hours, clashes began. Police deployed stun grenades and a water canon. At least 40 people — protesters and officers — were injured.

Jack Guez / Getty Images

Mounted police charged at a crowd of protesters. It was one of the most violent protests in memory, ending in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square.

Baz Ratner / Reuters

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