Following US criticism, state may appeal community service sentence for cop who beat Khdeir

State Department: "It is difficult to see how this sentence would promote full accountability for the actions of the police officer."

November 22, 2015 22:48
1 minute read.
Tariq Khdeir

Tariq Khdeir . (photo credit: REUTERS)

The Justice Ministry on Sunday said it is considering appealing the sentence of six weeks community service given to the border policeman who beat 15-year-old Palestinian- American Tariq Abu Khdeir in July 2014.

The United States said Thursday it was “disappointed” the policeman was not sentenced to prison by the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court, saying there was clear evidence excessive force was used.

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“Given the clear evidence captured on videotape of the excessive use of force, it is difficult to see how this sentence would promote full accountability for the actions of the police officer in this case,” State Department spokesman John Kirby told reporters.

“We understand there is a possibility for the Israeli state prosecutor to appeal the decision, and we’re going to continue to follow that closely, as you might expect,” he added.

No decision was sent out by the court spokesman and the policeman’s name is under gag order, but the Justice Ministry and lawyers for Khdeir provided updates.

According to reports, the court gave a sentence with no jail time because the officer admitted everything and expressed regret. Initially, the state even discussed indicting Khdeir and assembled a range of allegations against him with a narrative suggesting both Khdeir and the policeman had acted wrongfully.

Eventually, however, the state dropped all charges against Khdeir and only charged the policeman.

The video circulated by human rights groups showed two Israeli police officers kicking and beating the high school student from Tampa, Florida.

Reuters contributed to this story.

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