Border policeman sued for alleged unprovoked attack

According to the suit, the officer, Tal Yemini, together with two other border policemen, attacked 21-year-old Amichai Levine.

July 1, 2011 05:47
1 minute read.
Border Police officers [file photo]

Border Police officers in the West Bank town Awarta 311 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/Abed Omar Qusini)

Amichai Levine, a 21-year-old Jerusalem resident, filed a civil lawsuit at the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court on Thursday against a Border Police officer who allegedly assaulted him during a pro-settlement demonstration near the Awarta crossing near Nablus in July 2009.

According to the suit, the officer, Tal Yemini, together with two other border policemen, attacked Levine without provocation, choked him, pushed him to the ground and beat him after he had fallen in an incident lasting 20 minutes, after which they arrested him and charged him with disturbing the peace and beating a police officer.

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The incident was captured on video, and on the following day in court, the judge who had been asked to remand Levine released him, saying it appeared that it was he who had been attacked, and not the other way around.

Levine, together with the Organization for Human Rights in Judea and Samaria, lodged a complaint against Yemini with the Police Investigations Department in the Justice Ministry.

Following an investigation, Yemini was charged with unlawful use of force. He confessed to the charges in a plea bargain and was reprimanded and sentenced to pay a NIS 400 fine.

Levine thought the punishment insufficient, and on Thursday filed a claim for NIS 30,000 damages on account of pain and suffering caused by the beating.

“The verdict resulting from the plea bargain is ridiculous and fails to convey the message that violence may not be used by a police officer against a citizen as a means of alleviating stress. Police commanders talk about the importance of the issue; but, to our sorrow, its correct weight was not expressed in the disciplinary tribunal’s decision.

“We hope that the damages claim will put the message across more clearly,” Organization for Human Rights in Judea and Samaria head Orit Struck said.

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