Jun. 28, 2004 14:53 | Updated Jun. 28, 2004 17:31
Israeli shot dead by LA cops
By TOM TUGEND
Los Angeles police and the county district attorney are investigating the death of Assaf Dery, a 25-year-old Israeli, who was shot and killed by police officers on Friday.
According to a sparse police report, Dery was
driving a car around 10:30 p.m. in the North Hollywood area, when two police detectives tried to stop and detain him in connection with a felony narcotics investigation.
The detectives claim that they walked toward Dery's car, who then stepped on the gas and sideswiped one of the officers. Both detectives opened fire, wounding Dery, who was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.
Dery's father, Pinchas Dery, an electrical contractor in Bet Shemesh, had been visiting his son for the last two weeks and heard about his death on Saturday morning.
The elder Dery was "in total shock, he doesn't believe it really happened," said Nati Goldman, a family friend."
Goldman said that he had known Assaf Dery since the young man's arrival in the United States four years ago to work as a diamond salesman.
"Assaf has never been in trouble and I can't believe the police story," said Goldman. "I can only assume that Assaf didn't realize what was happening when the police stopped him and that he got confused."
According to Goldman, Assaf had served in the border police and had been "an excellent soldier."
Pinchas Dery was to return with his son's body to Israel on Monday (June 28).
Besides his father, Assaf's immediate family members include his mother Judit, three brothers and a sister.
Israeli Consul Yehoshua Avigdor said Sunday in Los Angeles that he had not received any additional information from police and that he was assisting Pinchas Dery.