Border policemen to stand trial in disciplinary hearing

Screen shot, tear gas at point-blank range; Video credit: Geulat Tzion

Please see here for more videos documenting the border police brutality at the protest.
Thursday, April 29, 2021, 11:53 The Police Investigation Unit (PIU) announced that a border police commander and a border policewoman will stand trial in a disciplinary hearing for illegal use of force. This follows a complaint filed by Honenu Attorney Menashe Yado over a February 2020 incident in Geulat Tzion during which border police impounding construction equipment brutally assaulted protesters. Video clips documenting the incident reveal a particularly violent confrontation on the part of the border policemen, who repeatedly violated the law as they assaulted area residents passively protesting. The assault included use of tear gas in violation of orders, dragging girls by their hair, severely violent detentions, and attempts to disrupt documentation of the assault by confiscating cell phones used to record the incident.

Cell phone seizure; Video credit: Geulat Tzion

In his complaint, Yado also specified that pepper spray was repeatedly sprayed at point-blank range at the protesters and that two of the protesters were stripped. The complaint further stated that, “The incident was covered by the media and a border police spokesman released mendacious information according to which rocks were thrown at the border police during the incident. This was a false report which constitutes, among other crimes, slander.
“The complaint is being filed primarily against the commander and one border policewoman, due to the general responsibility of the commander over the incident, the illegal physical brutality which he himself applied, and due to the excessive brutality repeatedly exhibited by the border policewoman.
“The video clips prove that the use [of tear gas] was completely uncontrolled, against regulations, harmful, humiliating, and created a feeling that with settlers the police are not acting according to the written regulations but rather different rules apply, violent ‘field’ rules.”

Tear gas at point blank range; Video credit: Geulat Tzion

The protesters were stripped as a means of suppressing the protest, and not as any policing method. Additionally, “there is documentation of general violence, beating with weapons, and dragging girls by their hair. The conduct of the border police must be examined and the complaints must be heard. There was also a report that medics were not immediately allowed to help the injured, prima facie without operational justification.”
Honenu Attorney Menashe Yado: “We are pleased with the decision by the PIU. We know that at the field level, since the complaint was filed, the correct conclusions have been reached and violent use of tear gas has been stopped. Concerning the policemen mentioned in the complaint, we will continue to monitor the disciplinary proceedings in order to verify that the indictment does not become a missed opportunity to attain justice, as has happened with previous incidents we have handled. We will act with all legal means to ensure that the Israeli Police bring the accused policemen before a panel of three judges in a police disciplinary court, and we will verify that it is done.”

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