Minor awarded 5,500 NIS in compensation for strip search

Thursday, February 8, 2018, 14:19 Jerusalem Magistrate Court Judge Nir Nahshon awarded 5,500 NIS in compensation to a minor brutally assaulted and forcibly strip searched by a policeman while detained at a police station.
The incident occurred approximately two years ago on a Saturday night after Shabbat while the minor and three friends were walking towards the King David’s Tomb complex in Jerusalem. On their way a policeman stopped them and demanded that they identify themselves. The youths asked the policeman to identify himself, as is required by law, however he refused. The statement of claim mentions that during his interrogation the policeman omitted the fact that he had not identified himself to the youths and that he “gave a false report” in the investigative file, “in the process hiding the facts which would have revealed the violations the policeman committed by his conduct.”
The minor recorded the entire incident on his cell phone. At the scene the policeman detained all four youths and searched their possessions for cell phones. The youths were brought to the police station, where the policeman searched for cell phones on their bodies. The policeman demanded that the minor stand facing the wall and said, “Today you will feel what the Shabak is,” and did not allow him to either turn around or sit.
Later the minor was taken to a corridor where another policeman was waiting. The policeman who was sued told the minor, “Take off your shoes and start to strip.” The minor refused to take off his pants and claimed that the demand was illegal. When the policeman realized that the minor would continue to refuse, he forcibly removed the minor’s pants and underwear, spoke to him roughly and then forcibly bent him. Afterwards the policeman ordered the minor to get dressed and brought him out into the station yard, where he stood for an hour and a half.
After the incident the four youths complained to the Police Investigation Unit and received in reply that, “Due to lack of public interest there is no cause to open an investigation into the complaints.”
The statement of claim mentions that, “The brutal strip search humiliated the claimant, violated his dignity, was conducted brutally and insultingly, and constitutes a violation of the Basic Law of Human Dignity, and deviated from the authority of the police.”
Also, instead of conditionally releasing the minor, the police brought him to a court deliberation in order to demand a distancing order, despite the fact that he should have been released from remand since he was being conditionally released.
Judge Nir Nahshon awarded the minor 5,500 NIS in compensation from the police.
Honenu Attorney Menasheh Yado, who represented the minor, stated that, “This was a violent incident against minors at the police station. The Police Investigation Unit (PIU) rejected the complaint made by the four youths about violence, without investigating the policeman [who was subsequently sued] or any of the policemen who witnessed the incident. The Attorney General’s office and the Supreme Court of Justice authorized the decision of the PIU to close the case without opening an investigation.
“In the civil suit which we filed the State readily admitted that the minor had been strip searched and no claim counter to the claim by the minor that violence was used on him was made. Also, no explanation was given for the biased police report in which the policeman presented a half-truth, which is known as the biggest lie. The compensation was awarded in an accelerated compromise procedure, without interrogating the witnesses. We intend to file a suit on behalf of an additional youth who was present during the incident, and to file a complaint with the Public Complaints Officer of the Jerusalem Police.”

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