(photo credit: Reuters)
The Tel Aviv District Court on Wednesday handed down the first-ever conviction of a police officer for abusive use of a taser gun against a handcuffed man.
Judge Zvi Gurfinkel handed down the conviction on an indictment filed by the Police Investigation Department of the Justice Ministry in August 2013 against Sail Anaim for unlawfully shocking a subdued man with a taser gun 24 times.
The 29-year-old officer, 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.
In January 2011, Anaim arrested a man after the man said that he and a female officer patrolling with him looked “bored.”
Subsequent to arresting the man and having him placed in a patrol car, Anaim ordered the man out of the car.
While the man was still handcuffed, Anaim shocked the man’s back with a taser gun without any need or warning.
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 him.
During the drive to the police station, Anaim shocked the man unnecessarily an additional nine times.
Anaim also struck him with the taser gun and cursed him repeatedly.
Once they arrived at the station, as Anaim was leading the man inside, he continued to shock the man with the taser, and forced him to refer to himself in a degrading fashion.
Anaim continued to shock the man inside the interrogation room at the station. Further, he also continued to strike him and curse him. All together, Anaim shocked the man unlawfully 24 times.
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.
After arriving at the station, Anaim took the suspect into the bathroom and beat him with his own belt as well as a police baton.
Next, 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.
Besides the primary allegations regarding torture and abuse of the taser gun, Anaim was also indicted for an incident in September 2010 when he allegedly, under questionable circumstances, detained and cursed a woman driver.
Next, Anaim arrested a man who approached Anaim to show him that he was the car’s registered owner, refusing to look at the registration.
Anaim proceeded to beat the man in the patrol car on the way to the police station.
The police were under fire in 2013 following the arrest of Boaz Albert, from Yitzhar in Samaria, in which officers delivered electric shocks to his chest as he lay on the ground.
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.
In Albert’s case, however, the Police Investigation Department closed the investigation against the police, finding the taser use justified under the circumstances.
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