Tuesday, December 18, 2018, 8:49 A youth distributing fliers in Shavei Shomron was detained and transported to the police station in an unmarked car by detectives from the Central Unit of the Yehuda and Shomron Police who drove in a reckless, life-threatening manner. The youth stated that Detective Yitzhak Bardugo drove while Detective Benny Nagani guarded. In his complaint filed with the police the youth described the frightening ride, including being pulled over by traffic police, who released the detectives without penalizing them. The detainee was not dangerous and there was no urgency necessitating rushing him to the police station.
The youth filed a complaint with the Chief Inspector of the Yehuda and Shomron District Police and only after two months did he receive a reply that the driver of the unmarked police car had received “disciplinary treatment”. The complaint opened with the sentence: “During the entire ride I came to know that my life has no value to the policemen,” and added, “The ride was frightening, wildly dangerous, conducted at a reckless speed with the car crossing solid white lines.” He described how at one of the times that they crossed a white line, near Ofra, a traffic policeman stopped them and asked the driver why he had crossed the line. The youth stated in his complaint that, “So that he would be released the detective said, ‘We’re police’”
Also the youth stated in the letter that the traffic policeman continued to censure the driver and then the other detective intervened and said, “Dude, we have a detainee in the car.”
The youth wrote that the traffic policeman, “Spread his arms and said, ‘What can I do? Drive safely. Life is not a game,’ and released them without penalizing them.” And then the youth asked, “Did my life, as soon as I got into the police car, turn into something so cheap that it was worthless? Was there any reason, at all, for the crazy driving which endangered me, them and everyone traveling on the road at the time?”
The youth maintained that: “It should not be that the police who are entrusted with upholding the law and maintaining order, and are dealing with all kinds of cases of keeping the law, would endanger the lives of detainees.” It should be noted that the youth was not considered a dangerous suspect, did not pose a danger to anyone, and was released immediately upon completion of the interrogation by the police, without being brought before a judge or taken to a detention center.
The father of the detainee described the police conduct: “This was a reckless and degrading endangerment of life. He wasn’t even considered a dangerous detainee.” The father continued to criticize the police conduct. “Is this the police who are entrusted with upholding the law? And if this is the police who are entrusted with upholding the law, is this the ease with which policemen violate the law, while endangering human lives?”
The father also found fault with the traffic policeman for releasing the detectives without penalizing them: “A traffic policeman stopped them! They should be detained already. Would I have been released? He would have given me a lecture and not only would he have given me a traffic ticket, he certainly would have summoned me to court and revoked my license.” The father wondered whether policemen were above the law and added that, “It was selective enforcement. Policemen do whatever they want. Maybe we need a police force for the policemen.”
Shmuel (Zangi) Meidad stated that: “There are policemen who regards themselves as not being obligated to following the law, and thus they endangered the life of a detainee who was under their watch, instead of protecting him as is required ethically and legally of their job. It should not be that police detectives are detained by a traffic policeman due to reckless, life-endangering driving and are not penalized.
We at Honenu have sued dangerous, cruel and brutal policemen, and we have seen results. Although the systemic change is still on its way, we, thank G-d, are seeing progress to that end.”