Authorities considering ban on use of Taser guns

Justice Ministry indicts police officer, Sa’il Anaim, for shocking handcuffed man 24 times

Taser gun (photo credit: Reuters)
Taser gun
(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.
While 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.
According 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.
Once they 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.
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, 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 indictment.
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 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.
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.