J'lem Man Files Complaint against 'Violent Cops'
A 49-year-old kashrut supervisor has filed a complaint with the Police Investigations Department after he and his wife were detained in Jerusalem. The man was suspected of involvement with vandalizing Arab property approximately six months ago, reports Honenu, an NGO that assists Jewish nationalist prisoners.
Eye witnesses say that the police conducted themselves very violently. The couple was taken to the Moriah Police Station where they were interrogated.
On Sunday, June 24, R. and his wife S., a head nurse at one of Jerusalem's hospitals, received a telephone call from a neighbor who told them that three men wearing civilian clothes, "thugs" according to his description, had looked for them at their house and banged on their door. The neighbor did not know who they were and what they wanted.
Later in the afternoon the couple returned home. The three men were still there and approached the couple. The men asked the husband what his name is and he replied that they should identify themselves first. After they presented police badges, R. showed them his ID card.
This is what happened afterward, according to Honenu and the couple.
The three policemen informed R. that he was detained. He and his wife asked them if they had a warrant and what the charges were. The policemen presented a folded piece of paper, claiming that it was a warrant, and added that they would be informed of the charges at the police station.
At this point S. noticed that the policemen were approaching her husband in a threatening manner. She tried to move closer to him in order to protect him and then, according to her, one of the policemen forcefully pushed her. Subsequently, she said, S. suffered injuries to her neck and one of her fingers.
One of the policemen told his colleague to take out handcuffs and then the three jumped on R. and severely beat him, damaging one of the parked cars in the process. Afterwards they knocked R. to the ground and as they continued to beat him, handcuffed him. During the detention R. suffered bad injuries to all parts of his body, including a broken nose. His glasses were broken. After they finished detaining R., the policemen informed his wife that she was also detained, because she had supposedly attacked them.
S. relates that her husband did not resist the detention in any way and certainly did not attack the policemen. The couple were detained and taken to the Moriah Police Station in Jerusalem. After several hours of interrogation S. was released. R spent the night in remand. He was interrogated on suspicion of involvement with "price tag" incidents involving damage to Arab property. The police did not have evidence but rather relied on "intelligence information."
Honenu attorney David HaLevi, who represented R. at the hearing for extending his remand, argued at the deliberation that the detention was violent and unnecessary, lacking evidence and that therefore R. should be released. The judge rejected the police's demand of a remand extension but due to the "severity of the accusations," sent R. to 30 days of house arrest.
Honenu attorney David HaLevi replied that, "This was a serious incident in which the police used unrestrained violence on my client for no visible reason. My client suffered from serious injuries including a broken nose due to the violence conduct of the police and that is a most unreasonable outcome of a detention, especially when the detainee is a normative adult with absolutely no criminal record who has never had any dealings with the law enforcement system."
"The incident itself has been recorded," HaLevi said, "and we intend to file a strong complaint with the Police Investigation Unit in order that they examine the conduct of the police during the incident. In our humble behavior, the police are groping in the dark and the detention of my client was carried out without a basis of genuine evidence against him, and the decision to release him supports this."