(photo credit: Reuters)
The Tel Aviv District Court on Sunday handed down a 28-month prison sentence against police officer Sail Anaim for abusive use of a Taser gun. This is the first time a court has passed such a sentence regarding torture with a Taser.
Judge Zvi Gurfinkel handed down the conviction in March, on an indictment filed by the Police Investigation Department of the Justice Ministry in August 2013 against Anaim.
He was accused of unlawfully shocking a subdued, handcuffed man with a Taser gun, 24 times, as well as tasing and beating two suspects in a break-in.
The 29-year-old officer, serving in the Yiftah patrol unit, was charged with two counts of torturing a helpless person with a Taser gun and one count of causing serious bodily harm.
Gurfinkel said that the law regarding “use of a Taser is the same as for use of a gun.”
In January 2011, Anaim had arrested a man who said that Anaim, and a female officer patrolling with him, looked bored.
Following the arrest Anaim ordered the man out of the car, then, without provocation and while the man was still handcuffed, Anaim shocked the man in the back with a Taser gun.
After the man fell to the ground, Anaim pressed the trigger three more times – plus an additional, unnecessary, nine times during the drive to the police station.
Anaim also struck him with the Taser gun and cursed him repeatedly.
When they arrived at the station, as Anaim was leading the man inside, he continued to taser the man, and forced him to refer to himself in a degrading fashion.
The shocking continued inside the interrogation room at the station, where he struck and cursed him.
In February 2011, Anaim again unlawfully used the Taser gun and struck the head of a man 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. He then kicked and beat a friend of the suspect who he thought might have been involved in the breakin as well.
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 female driver.
Anaim then arrested a man who approached him in an attempt 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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