A 24-year-old woman from Tel Aviv who was videotaped being violently shoved by a police officer during Saturday night's protest for social justice said the attack took place while she was trying to reach her boyfriend through a wall of five or six police officers who she claims were beating him.
Maya Gorkin said she still can't believe the extent of the police violence at the Tel Aviv rally, even though she was subjected to it herself.
"I'm in shock," she said. "I admit that I didn't believe something like this could happen."
Gorkin was standing with her boyfriend on the sidelines of the rally when she saw police arrest a man she knew and bring him into the municipality building, which was being used as a temporary holding cell.
"I went over there to see, and out of nowhere a policeman from the Special Patrol Unit came and shoved my boyfriend forward with all of his might, toward a group of other patrol unit guys, and they just jumped on him, five or six of them at once, and beat him," said Gorkin, referring to the unit known by the Hebrew acronym Yasam. "I tried to grab his hand and they just shoved me backward. He disappeared behind the wall of patrol unit guys. I panicked and tried to find him, and I ran forward to the municipality entrance and tried to get closer and see something. Of course, they threw me backward and then that officer stood there."
That was when Gorkin became the star of a short video making the rounds on Facebook. Watch video below (Hebrew subtitles only).
The officer "saw me and gave me a serious shove backward, so I told him, 'Aren't you ashamed to be pushing a woman?' Then he said, 'No, I'm not ashamed,'" Gorkin recalled. "He turned around and continued walking and I kept shouting that it was a disgrace, and then he turned toward me and grabbed me by the neck, called over two patrol unit guys to arrest me. They put me into the municipality building and just flung me at the wall."
When Gorkin was reunited with her boyfriend the next day, she says she saw evidence of the battering.
"They beat him up and down, bashed him on the railing like a rag, and then tossed him onto the floor," she said. "He has a bruise under his eye and on his jaw, and his entire stomach is full of red marks, and he has a wound on his shoulder."
Police detained Gorkin all Saturday night in a bicycle warehouse with nine others. There she heard someone else get beaten by police, she said.
"We heard them beating him," recounted Gorkin, adding, "His eye was bleeding and it wasn't treated for eight hours."
Want to enjoy 'Zen' reading - with no ads and just the article? Subscribe todaySubscribe now