Dozens of lawsuits have been filed against the police on behalf of victims of police brutality and wrongful arrest by the Honenu legal organization in recent years, but only now has a lawsuit been filed against the police officer and not the police as an organization.
The plaintiff demands 30,000 shekels ($8,265). According to attorney Menashe Yaddo, a representative of Honenu, the officer wrongfully arrested the plaintiff, took him to the station, and proceeded to beat him, strip him, and humiliate him. The officer then wrote false reports of illegal activity on the plaintiff's part, leading to the court barring him from entering Jerusalem.
Honenu explained its unusual decision to sue the officer personally instead of the police as a whole as it does in most cases of wrongful arrest and police brutality, as being due to the officer's breach of trust by writing a false report. Honenu noted that police presented no evidence for the trial while video recordings of the incident exonerated the plaintiff.
The incident occurred two years ago, when a police officer asked for the identity cards of several youths who were marching in Jerusalem on a Saturday night. The plaintiff presented his identification to the officer immediately, as the video evidence showed, but his friends demanded that the officer prove that he was a policeman. The officer refused, in violation of the law, and a debate ensued which resulted in the detention of four of the youths. The officer demanded that the youths hand over their cell phones so that the recordings of the incident could be erased.
According to the lawsuit, when the plaintiff's cell phone was not found, the officer said "Now you'll see what the Shin Bet is," and ordered him to stand against the wall and strip naked before being subjected to a full body search.
The next day the plaintiff was brought to the Jerusalem Magistrate Court, where he was expelled from Jerusalem for 15 days on the basis of the officer's false report. Honenu lawyers submitted an appeal against the decision, and presented to the court the video of the incident, prompting police representatives to agree to cancel the ban after realizing video contradicted the officers report.
Attorney Menashe Yaddo said: "This is not a case of an officer momentarily losing control, but is a case of consistent activity which is contrary to the law and the practice of harsh violence and humiliation against the detainees, including misleading the police officer's commanders and misleading the court through a false report. There is no reason that the defense of such an officer should be funded by the taxpayers, and I hope that the court will act with the full power of the law."