Israel police car (Illustrative).
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
A video clip showing police officers using force to detain an ultra-Orthodox young man in Jerusalem has been flooding Israeli social media on Thursday. The clip shows several policemen pushing down a young man, who was injured and bleeding from his face, and arresting him. According to witnesses, the young man was autistic.
The incident began after the authorities arrived to extinguish a fire, which was ignited in a problematic spot for the Jewish holiday of Lag Baomer, and encountered opposition from the boys.
According to the police, the young man was arrested by a detective after attacking another detective dressed as a civilian. Border Police officers intervened only after the disturbances began and continued the arrests
In the video, the boy can be heard shouting "Mami, Mami, want to go home" and "save me."
The police said that "during police activity yesterday (Wednesday) to enforce the prohibition of igniting bonfires in dangerous places that could endanger life, in the Makor Baruch neighborhood of Jerusalem the police encountered violence by dozens of rioters, including them throwing stones, objects and attacking policemen."
"From an initial investigation into the event it appears that a young man attacked one policewoman. During the arrest the suspect resisted, went wild and got wounded in the face. Immediately after the arrest and after his disability became evident, the present officer ordered his immediate release and he was treated on the ground by Mada. However, the circumstances of the incident are being thoroughly checked and investigated," the police claimed.
MK Yair Lapid, number two of the Blue and White party and himself the father of a child with autism, reacted to the video on Twitter, saying "this is a shocking and heartbreaking video and makes my blood boil. The police must examine this matter urgently. "
Meretz chairman Tamar Zandberg sent a letter to the police commissioner on the subject, stating that "police violence is a threat to democracy, and it is always first directed at the weak, minorities and voiceless. I turn to the police chief this morning with the demand to investigate the incident, bring it to justice, and mainly to draw in-depth and broad conclusions on the police's conduct vis-a-vis the citizens."
MK Ilan Gilon of Meretz also asked the police commissioner to investigate the incident. He also asked for a reference of the steps being taken by Israel Police in dealing with people with disabilities, following the State Comptroller's report on the subject.
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