Police Officer to Stand Trial for Beating Protestor

The police department has decided to put on trial an officer charged with beating an anti-expulsion protestor. Civil rights officials hope the decision will deter further police brutality.<BR><br/>

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Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu, | updated: 11:32

David Ben Ya'akov filed a criminal complaint and an 18,000 shekel ($3,800) damage suit against police officer Effie Mor after Mor allegedly beat him without provocation while his wife and small child watched in shock.

Ben Ya'akov charged that he was driving to an anti-expulsion rally near Gush Katif and reached a police blockade. "After the protest had started, police began to stand at the blockade to direct traffic and they told me to drive ahead," the plaintiff said. "I started to move ahead, and suddenly the commander of the Lachish region [Mor] came to the car. After he told me to 'get moving,' he reached inside the car and punched me three times in the head and neck."

The civil suit against Mor is based on eyewitness evidence from Ben Ya'akov's wife and sister who were in the car at the time. A Channel 2 television cameraman saw the incident and asked Mor to apologize, but he refused and said that Ben-Ya'akov could file a complaint if he wanted.

"I hope this suit will be upheld and will prevent police from using brutality in the future," Ben-Ya'akov added.

Civil rights advocate Orit Strook said, "Putting police office Mor on trial is very significant and has repercussions concerning Ben Ya'akov's suit.

The trial date has been set for January 12.