A teachable moment for police brutality?

By
October 21, 2013 15:37

A former senior cop might not be on trial today had he been ousted in 2005, as he should have been.




Jerusalem police chief Nisso Shaham

Jerusalem police chief Nisso Shaham 521. (photo credit:Marc Israel Sellem)

I’m sure I’m not the only Israeli who cheered when former Jerusalem police chief Nisso Shaham was indicted last week. This is justice long overdue: The police should have ousted him eight years ago on grounds of brutality. And if it had, some of the incidents for which he now faces trial might never have happened.

Unfortunately, Shaham is anything but unique in this regard: For far too long, our law enforcement agencies have ignored police misconduct of every sort, from brutality to lying to gross negligence. The question is whether this case will finally make them realize that such leniency doesn’t pay and prompt a broad crackdown on all misconduct, or whether the “lesson” will be limited to a crackdown on the specific abuses behind last week’s indictment. 

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