Complaint filed against border policeman

Honenu Attorney Menashe Yado; Photo credit: Honenu

Thursday, January 21, 2021, 12:01 The Public Complaints Officer of the Border Police rejected a complaint about the deficient conduct of a border police officer who refused to detain an Arab assailant who spit at a Jew, and also did not take his details. The Public Complaints Officer determined that the complaint was unjustified, despite documentation of the incident.
The incident occurred in the Old City of Jerusalem, in September 2020, on the afternoon before Yom Kippur. Ya’ir Kehati, who was collecting donations for a charity at the time, saw Arabs nearby, selling baked goods from a booth, and warned the Jewish customers that the vendors did not have a certificate of kashrut. The vendors cursed him, and then border policemen at the site who came to resolve the situation told them that there was no problem with Kehati’s statement.
After that, an Arab youth approached and spit at Kehati, who at this point took out his camera and began to record the incident. The recording shows Kehati speaking to a border police officer who was near the booth and pointing to the Arab who had spit at him. Kehati asked the officer to take the Arab’s details because he intended to file a complaint. The officer and the name badge on his uniform are clearly visible in the video clip. The officer, who refused to detain the assailant, distanced Kehati from the scene assured him that he would take the assailant’s details. The officer is heard saying, “I will take his details. I will take all of them. Go and file a complaint, but go now.”
Approximately one month after he filed the complaint, the complainant was informed that the case had been closed on the grounds of “perpetrator unknown”. Honenu Attorney Menashe Yado requested the evidence and discovered that the officer admitted that he had not taken details from the assailant. In response, Yado filed a complaint with the Public Complaints Officer against Officer Eliya Meron on the grounds that he had acted unprofessionally and had thwarted the possibility of bringing the assailant to trial. Yado was shocked when the police claimed that there was no officer by that name in the Israeli Police.
Kehati decided to search for the officer on Facebook, and when he found the profile of an officer by that name, he sent photographs and additional details to the Public Complaints Officer. Now that Officer Eliya Meron has been found, the police are claiming that “the officer has stated that he does not remember that he told you that he would transfer the details of the assailant and in any event, in light of the task and the large number of incidents, he could not take the time to verify the details of the assailant as you requested.”
Kehati: “Over one year ago, I experienced humiliation by an Arab who spit at me. I chose to handle the incident through the legal system, and instead [of receiving suitable treatment] an injustice has been done to me. I found myself chasing after a system that is apparently trying to curb my steps, instead of helping me. It has reached such an extreme level that with the help of Facebook and with the help of friends, I found the offending officer for the Public Complaints Officer. Even now, instead of admitting to the failure, the police are evading responsibility and offering unjustifiable explanations for the unprofessional conduct of the officer.”
Honenu Attorney Menashe Yado: “The conduct of the border police unequivocally conveys a lack of motivation to handle the complaint, to reach the correct conclusions, and to do the job which the regulations impose on the Public Complaints Officer. We have already announced our intention to appeal the decision, and we will do so after we receive all of the evidence for examination.”

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