Chaim Mizrachi recounting the attack at a Knesset committee hearing
Chaim Mizrachi recounting the attack at a Knesset committee hearingNo credit

The Police Investigations Department (PID) has filed an indictment in the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court against Detective Officer Shai Ezra Eliyahu and Detective Officer Yotam Gargir, for assaulting a civilian last January in the Geula neighborhood of Jerusalem. In addition, their commanding officer has been charged with obstruction of the course of justice for writing a false report of the incident that occurred.

According to the indictment, filed by attorney Shaked Dahan, a demonstration by the ultra-Orthodox public took place in the Geula neighborhood of Jerusalem at the beginning of January. During the course of the protest, a small distance away, Chaim Mizrachi exited the store where he was employed.

A few moments later, an unmarked police vehicle passed on its way to the scene of the protest, driven by an undercover police officer with an undercover policewoman in the passenger seat. Both were dressed in civilian clothes without any identification marks indicating that they were police officers on duty, as was the case. Due to a traffic jam on the street, the police driver bypassed the column of cars in front of him and hit another vehicle stuck in traffic.

Mizrachi noticed the collision and approached the unmarked police car to tell the driver that he had hit another car. In response, the detective got out of the vehicle and told Mizrachi that it was a police car, before shoving him back.

The detective then returned to his vehicle as Mizrachi started to move away, while expressing displeasure with the detective's behavior. Apparently seeing this, the detective stopped his vehicle, jumped out, approached Mizrachi and began to attack him, including attempting to throttle him and also punching him in the head, in order to "teach him a lesson."

Other police officers who noticed what was happening, including a second detective, then approached the scene and helped the first detective to drag Mizrachi into the back seat of the undercover vehicle. While Mizrachi was lying on his stomach on the back seat, the detective sat on him, illegally, in the lower back area. During the ride and even though Mizrachi was already handcuffed, the detective continued to sit on Mizrachi and also punched him a number of times in the back of his head, while Mizrachi cried out and protested that he hadn't done anything wrong. When they arrived at the police station, the detective hit him again, in the back, as he led Mizrachi to a cell.

Based primarily on the report of the detective commanding officer, most of which was false, Mizrachi was questioned at the police station and detained there overnight. The next day, when he was brought before a judge, the court ordered his immediate and unconditional release, after viewing documentation of the events that had occurred the day before. The judge expressed severe criticism of the police and ordered the file to be sent to the PID for investigation.

חיים מזרחי שהוכה בירושלים בידי שוטרים משחזרכאן חדשות

As a consequence of police brutality, Mizrachi suffered from severe pain and needed medical treatment. While at the hospital he lost consciousness and was treated on the spot. He has also needed emotional health treatment due to the trauma of the attacks on him.

According to the terms of the indictment, two defendants are charged with assault and the commanding officer is charged with obstruction of the course of justice.