(photo credit: Reuters)
As Police Insp.-Gen. Yohanan Danino reevaluates the entire policy of
using Taser guns as a law enforcement weapon, the Police Investigation
Department of the Justice Ministry on Sunday filed the first-ever indictment in
the Tel Aviv District Court against a police officer for unlawfully shocking a
subdued man with a Taser gun 24 times.
The officer, Sa’il Anaim, 29,
serving in the Yiftah patrol unit, was charged with two counts of torturing
helpless and already subdued persons with the Taser gun with no justification,
and one count of causing serious bodily harm.
The indictment said that in
January 2011, Anaim arrested a man after the man told Anaim and a female officer
with him that they looked “bored.” Subsequent to arresting the man and having
him placed in a patrol car, Anaim ordered the man out of the car.
the man was still handcuffed, Anaim administered a shock to the man’s back with
a Taser gun without any need or warning, said the indictment.
to the indictment, the man fell to the ground from the Taser shock and while the
shocks were still causing the man pain in his back, Anaim pressed the trigger
three more times to continue to shock the man.
During the drive to the
police station, Anaim continued to shock the man unnecessarily an additional
nine times, the indictment alleged.
The indictment said that Anaim also
struck the man with the Taser gun and cursed him repeatedly.
arrived at the station, as Anaim was leading the man inside, he continued to
shock the man with the Taser, noted the indictment, also forcing the man to
refer to himself in a degrading fashion.
Anaim continued to shock the man
even inside the interrogation room at the station, said the indictment, and also
that he continued to strike him and curse him.
Altogether, Anaim shocked
the man unlawfully 24 times, the indictment said.
In February 2011, Anaim
again unlawfully used the Taser gun and struck a man in the head who was
suspected of breaking into a car, said the indictment.
After arriving at
the station, the indictment noted that Anaim took the suspect into the bathroom
and beat him with his own belt as well as with a police baton.
suspecting that a friend of the suspect had been involved in the breakin, Anaim
took the friend to the bathroom and kicked him as well as beat him with the
baton, according to the indictment.
Besides the primary allegations
regarding torture and misuse of the Taser gun, Anaim was also indicted for an
incident in September 2010 when he allegedly, under impliedly questionable
circumstances, detained and cursed a woman driver.
Next, Anaim arrested
the male owner of the car who approached Anaim to show him that he was the car’s
registered owner, refusing to look at the registration, alleged the
Anaim proceeded to beat the man in the patrol car on the way
to the police station, the indictment said.
Meanwhile, the police were
recently under fire following the highly publicized arrest of Boaz Albert in
which officers delivered electric shocks to his chest as he lay on the
Albert’s case has been highly publicized in the media, because
the incident was caught on video. Based on the video, Albert was not resisting
arrest when the Taser gun was used against him.
Danino’s suspension of
the use of Taser guns by police followed that incident and will remain in place
pending the results of the investigation into Albert’s arrest.Ben
Hartman contributed to this story.