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      Police to Halt Taser Use

      Outcry over video of officers shocking prone suspect leads police commander to suspend taser use.
      By Maayana Miskin
      First Publish: 8/18/2013, 11:15 AM

      Illustration: Taser
      Illustration: Taser
      Reuters

      Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino has ordered police across the country to stop using tasers. 

      His announcement follows public outrage after a video was released showing officers repeatedly giving electric shocks to a father-of-six from Samaria (Shomron) who was not resisting arrest.

      At the same time, Danino has established a committee to set standards for taser use in the future.

      The detainee, Boaz Albert, was arrested for violating an administrative order distancing him from his home. The administrative order was given without any charges being filed against him.

      When officers arrived, he resisted arrest passively by lying on the floor. However, he did not fight officers or attempt to escape. Despite this, the video shows police repeatedly using a taser on him as he pleads with them to stop, while one of his children – who is being kept in an adjacent room by police - cries and screams, “Mommy!”

      His younger brother was shot with a taser as well, and the taser’s hooks became lodged in his stomach. The hooks were later removed by a surgeon in a minor operation under local anesthesia.

      A court released Albert the next day. Judge Nava Bechor criticized police for the degree of force used during his arrest.

      The Land of Israel Legal Forum wrote to Danino on Friday over the officers’ taser use, which Attorney Yitzhak Bam called “a violation of human rights and a serious act unworthy of a democratic state.”

      Minister Naftali Bennett, head of the Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) party said the video was “very disturbing” and that he would demand clarification.

      The video also led to renewed criticism of the practice of issuing administrative orders, which critics say can be used to punish suspects without trial. MK Orit Struk has begun an initiative to have MKs re-sign a 2007 measure urging extreme caution in the use of such orders.

      Police have denied using undue force. In a statement issued Friday, police in Judea and Samaria (Shomron) said the video of the arrest was “edited in a tendentious way” and that police had clearly acted “without any violence and according to procedures.”