Man Filmed Being Beaten During Arrest Files Brutality Complaint Against Police

A resident of the country's central plain region served a complaint against the police Sunday, three days after he was beaten and pepper sprayed by officers in the course of his arrest. The young man, identified only as "L." was kicked and punched by police while he was handcuffed and also had pepper gas sprayed into his eyes. The incident was documented by a passerby who filmed the arrest, as reported last week in Haaretz.

According to the young man, the police did not stop humiliating him and even beat him again after he was put in a holding cell at the Lev Tel Aviv police station.

"They wanted me to confess that I had intentionally broken a car mirror and had attacked the policeman. When I did not agree, that same policeman who had hit me with his fist at first and another policeman came into the cell, after they had removed all the other detainees, and continued to hit me," he said. L., a demobilized soldier, and a friend were arrested last Thursday after the two were going home following a night of drinking in Tel Aviv. A resident of Ibn Gvirol Street suspected the two of having tried to break into a car there and called the police after she said she saw the two breaking the mirror of a parked car.

The young man contends that one of the wheels of the car he was driving had a flat tire, and was just turning and apparently broke the parked car's mirror by mistake. A few minutes later police from the Lev Tel Aviv station arrived there and arrested him.

"It was appalling," the passerby who filmed the attack said. "For half an hour a group of police did not stop beating him up even when he was sitting down and when he was already lying down, and even then a policewoman went by and kicked him in the face." After he was released from custody, L.'s mother rushed him to an emergency room, where he was diagnosed with bruises all over his body, hemorrhaging in his forehead and ear and scrapes on his hands, feet and back.

In response, the Tel Aviv Police said that "during the course of the arrest of two suspects who were disturbing the peace and causing damage to parked cars, the two tried to escape by driving away.

"The two, who were intoxicated, were arrested and in order to arrest them use was made of reasonable force and pepper spray since they resisted arrest and attacked the police."