Video casts doubt on need for deadly force in Jerusalem ramming attempt

A video of the shooting shows the officers firing on the vehicle after it stopped, conflicting with initial reports.

September 8, 2016 01:27
2 minute read.
BORDER POLICEMEN fire tear gas at rock-throwers in the Shuafat refugee camp

BORDER POLICEMEN fire tear gas at rock-throwers in the Shuafat refugee camp in northeastern Jerusalem on Friday. (photo credit: REUTERS)

A video casting doubt on the need for deadly force in the shooting death of a Palestinian man in a car allegedly attempting to ram police officers near the capital’s Shuafat refugee camp on Sunday, has resulted in dual probes by the Justice Ministry and police, it was announced on Wednesday.

According to police, shortly after midnight on Sunday, as units carrying out patrols in the volatile area walked toward their vehicles to leave, an unidentified car attempted to run down several officers, despite repeated warnings to stop.

Claiming that their lives were in imminent danger, Border Police officers responded by opening fire on the vehicle, shooting the driver and passenger.

The passenger, identified as Mustafa Nimir, of Ramat Gan, was killed; the driver, his brother-in-law, Ali Nimir, sustained moderate injuries, police said.

Ali Nimir, who was hospitalized, has been placed under arrest and charged with a litany of crimes, including involuntary manslaughter, for his brother-in-law’s death.

None of the officers was wounded, and police deemed the incident an attempted terrorist attack.

However, video taken of the shooting airing on Channel 10 Tuesday shows the officers firing on the vehicle after it stopped, potentially conflicting with initial reports of what took place.

Moreover, Mustafa Nimir’s Jewish girlfriend, who traveled in a car directly behind him, told Channel 10 that bullets also struck her vehicle, adding that shooting stopped only after she identified herself as Jewish.

In the news segment, the girlfriend claimed that security officials visited Nimir’s parent’s home and apologized for using excessive force.

“They said they understood that it wasn’t a terrorist attack, or anything like that,” she said in the piece. “That it was an accident. He was a good man.”

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld confirmed the probes on Wednesday, but noted that such investigations are mandatory following a deadly shooting.

“There is an investigation taking place by the Justice Ministry and police, which is a standard procedure whenever there is a major incident, or shots are fired,” said Rosenfeld.

“At the same time, the Jerusalem Police Department is questioning the driver, who is moderately injured, and we’re looking into all different directions to determine why he drove dangerously and directly toward the officers, who were under immediate threat.”

Rosenfeld added that the result of the police probe will be made public in the coming days.

Nimir, who is expected to be arraigned at Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court on Thursday, is also being charged with endangering the lives of police, driving without a license, and driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

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