Court Slams Closing of Probe Into Israeli Police Use of Stun Gun on Incapacitated Suspects

'What danger was posed by a man in swim trunks, lying prone with his hands cuffed behind his back?' asked a Tel Aviv judge

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A still image from the video of the incident.
A still image from the video of the incident.

A Tel Aviv judge has criticized the state agency that investigates allegations of police misconduct for closing an investigation against officers who used a stun gun on two suspects as they lay on their back, their hands in restraints behind their backs.

While the Justice Ministrys department for investigating police officers dropped its probe, the suspects were charged with assaulting an officer.

At a recent detention hearing for the suspects, Tel Aviv Magistrates Court Judge Shamai Becker viewed a video of the incident, writing afterward: What risk was posed by a man lying on his back in a bathing suit, handcuffed from behind ... that calls for the use of a stun gun? I must be missing something but it seems to me that such behavior is unacceptable and I can only assume that the [department], which closed the case, was unable to watch this video.

Police officers use stun gun on handcuffed suspects.

The incident took place in July, and began when one of two friends from East Jerusalem who had traveled to the beach in Tel Aviv were accused by a woman of hitting her daughter in the head with a stone. The man occurred last month, when one of the two was accused by a woman on the beach of throwing a stone that hit her daughters head. A police officer handcuffed him, placed him under arrest and walked him to a nearby policing post.

According to the police report, the suspects companion swore at the police officers, and relatives of the suspects who were also at the beach tried to force their way into the police post.

Becker characterized the events that followed, and which were documented in the video, as problematic and truly disturbing in regard to the conduct of the officers.

Neither suspect was charged in connection to the original complaint, of throwing the rock that hit the complainants daughter. The suspect said he had tossed a stone into the sea and didnt mean for it to hit anyone.

Both of the suspects were charged with aggravated assault against a police officer, obstructing arrest and insulting a public servant. They were held for four days and released to house arrest. Becker turned down prosecutors request that they remain under house arrest for the duration of the proceedings.

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