Woman Says Policemen Forced Her Into Patrol Car, Broke Her Hand During Arrest

Dua Saadi claims that police attacked her over a traffic violation, but police say she cursed at them and resisted arrest. A video from the scene shows them dragging her by force into the car

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A police station in Lod
A police station in LodCredit: Tomer Appelbaum

A woman from the central Israeli city of Lod said that the police assaulted her last week and broke her hand in the process of arresting her for a traffic violation.

Dua Saadi, a Lod resident in her thirties, said she was arrested because her car was parked in a way that blocked traffic, losing her head cover and breaking her hand in the process.

The police say that when the woman was issued a citation, she began to curse and threaten the officers and resisted arrest.

A video posted to social media shows the two policemen trying to force Saadi into the patrol car.

Saadi had come to Lod’s Ramat Eshkol neighborhood on Wednesday to pick up a friend and her daughter. She then stopped at a school in the area. According to Saadi, she suddenly found a civilian car blocking her. “A man got out of the car, not in uniform, and started yelling at me,” she told Haaretz.

“He said that he was a policeman and asked me to go with him. I refused because I was very afraid and I didn’t know who this man standing in front of me is. I asked him to bring a policewoman because I didn’t want to be accompanied by him," she said.

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Saadi said that the man called a police car to the site, but no policewoman arrived. At that point, she said she was assaulted, and that her head covering was removed during the altercation. She said she was then dragged to the patrol car, and passersby filmed the scene.

“They cuffed my hands and legs like a dangerous criminal and put me in a cell, claiming that I had disrupted a police officer in carrying out his duties and that I blocked the road,” Saadi said. “I begged them to allow me to pick up my children, ages 3 and 5, from kindergarten. When the policeman realized that he would be responsible if something were to happen to them, they let me go get my children out and return right away to the station for questioning.”

At that point, Saadi said, the police realized that the incident had been filmed. The policeman “asked me if I had other films like that and said ‘come on, let’s close the matter.’ After that they let me go without any citations, but with lots of scars on my body and mind.”

Saadi said she intends to file a complaint with the department that investigates police misconduct. She sought medical treatment and was diagnosed with a broken hand.

On social media, the clip of her arrest was met with rage. Social activists in Lod said that they protest against the violence over the next few days in front of the police station. Hadash-Ta’al MK Osama Saadi (no relation to the complainant) wrote to Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan and to acting Police Commissioner Moti Cohen, asking them to suspend the policemen involved in the incident.

The Israel Police responded that “the details presented are not precise, to put it mildly. The incident involved a driver who received a citation for a traffic violation and in response began to curse and threaten the policeman. When the policeman sought to detain her for doing so, she resisted and he had to arrest her for questioning. The police’s handling of the situation was professional and the officers acted as required. The Israel Police will continue to enforce the law and prevent any danger to those using the roads.”