A video going viral on social media depicts serious abuse of authority by a policeman, and has drawn outrage over police brutality.
The video taken in Beit Shemesh shows a policeman appearing to unjustifiably use his Taser gun against an unarmed haredi man. The story accompanying the video explains how the haredi male exchanged words with the policeman. The situation then turned violent, he was struck by the Taser and downed to the ground and restrained.
In an interview with Kol Chai radio on Monday morning, the haredi man described his humiliation. "After everything I went through, the curses, beatings, bloodshed and disrespect – he dares smear my name claiming I swore at him. We [haredim] never utter such explicit words, especially not for a ticket of 1,000 shekels ($258).”
The man described the sequence of events, “I received a phone call while driving, I was pulling over and going about 5-10 kph (3-6 mph) when the policeman stopped me and ordered me to step outside my vehicle. He referred me to the patrolman, and I began to plead with him.”
He continued to explain how he was in a difficult financial situation as he had just bought an apartment. “You know how it is with yeshiva students, scraping the last shekel, I'll tell you the truth, my eyes even began to tear.”
"The officer laughed at me, he told me he does not like people begging and continued to laugh using blunt and nasty language. It really, really hurt me. Is it not enough that he was issuing me a ticket but he had to laugh and humiliate me too?” wondered the haredi man.
He claims that after telling the officer that “God will return the payment”, the officer aggressively pounced on him and his first instinct was to flee.
“The officer was wild and when I asked if I can pick up my kippah (yarmulke) from the ground he just continued to laugh. He saw an opportunity to pick on someone haredi. There are videos of the same officer throwing stones at haredim – how can this person be responsible for upholding the law?”
“A man who has proven himself to be capable of such violence and hatred, cannot be entrusted with enforcing the law,” he concluded.
The Justice Ministry has issued an investigation amid demands that the policeman should be suspended and held accountable for his actions.