Youth awarded 7,050 NIS for illegal search

Wednesday, May 16, 2018, 21:26 At a Ramleh Magistrate Court deliberation it was revealed that the State of Israel has a “black list” of citizens who are under orders to be searched by the police at every encounter with them. The issue arose during a civil suit by a Jewish youth against the police in which he claimed that his possessions had been illegally searched.
The police admitted that the policy exists and that accordingly they are required to search the plaintiff’s possessions at every encounter with him: “Only because of the warning which appeared on the [police car] console screen did we search only the plaintiff, despite the fact that there were three people present [at the time of the search].” However at the deliberation the police refused to present the nature of the warning on the console, claiming that the matter was confidential. Judge Noam Ref ruled that the search had been illegal and awarded the plaintiff 7,050 NIS in compensation.
During the incident, which was documented, the plaintiff was standing with two of his friends at the Kesem Intersection when policemen who were passing by asked the three youths to present their ID cards, and did not present their police badges. When the policemen entered the ID number of the plaintiff into the console, they told him that they had to check him. One of the policemen added, “It’s written here that every time [the police] see you, you must be searched.” This policy is illegal. When the plaintiff asked the policeman what the charges were against him, the policeman refused to answer.
In the video clip documenting the incident one of the policemen is seen emptying the contents of the youth’s backpack onto the sidewalk while the youth asserts that he does not agree to the search.
In his verdict Ramleh Magistrate Court Judge Noam Ref ruled that the policemen had acted illegally when they did not present their police badges. The judge rejected the claims by the policemen that they had a reasonable basis for the detention and noted that the detention was carried out despite the express opposition of the youth, as is documented in the video clip. In conclusion Judge Ref ruled that the policemen illegally detained the youth.
Judge Ref awarded the youth a total of 7,050 NIS from the police: 3,000 NIS in compensation, 3,000 NIS for legal fees, 750 NIS for court fees, and 300 NIS for other expenses in the case.
Honenu Attorney Menasheh Yado: “This case raises the problem of illegal searches of hill-top youth, not as a random act, but rather as a matter of course. The policeman who conducted the search notified my client, in the presence of cameras, that there is an order which obligates a search of him at every encounter with him. This order is illegal and unreasonable. The court awarded my client compensation for this search. This case revealed only a very minor example of the law enforcement culture which exceeds the limit of what is permitted where hill-top youth are concerned. In practice not everyone is equal before the law, and human rights and the rule of democracy are unfortunately lofty concepts which are not applicable to everyone.”

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