Cop indicted for hitting social justice protester

Officer attacked protester without justification; other officers receive disciplinary action for protester treatment.

Arrest [illustrative] 370 (photo credit: Nir Elias/Reuters)
Arrest [illustrative] 370
(photo credit: Nir Elias/Reuters)
The internal affairs division of the State Attorney’s Office on Sunday filed an indictment in the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court against police officer Ronen Eruv for allegedly attacking a social justice protester last summer without justification.
According to the indictment, on June 24, 2012, Eruv, along with other police officers who were deployed to contain the protests across from Tel Aviv’s City Hall, arrested Tom Israeli.
After arresting Israeli, Eruv and other police started to lead Israeli toward city hall, said the indictment.
Next, they entered city hall and while Eruv and other police were keeping Israeli’s hands bound, Eruv struck Israeli twice in the face with his fist with no justification, said the indictment.
A statement by the state noted that there had been many complaints following the protest about police brutality.
The statement also said that the internal affairs division views incidents, such as the allegations against Eruv, very seriously, and will act strongly against officers who “exploit their powers in an abusive manner.”
Also, the statement said that not all officers would have criminal proceedings brought against them.
In some circumstances, as with two other officers involved in containing the social protests, the officers might have been acting properly within their function as police, but merely went a bit overboard, making disciplinary sanctions more appropriate than criminal ones.
The state’s statement emphasized that the indictment was another example of hundreds of indictments which internal affairs has filed against police in recent years involving crimes which carry prison sentences of one year or more.
Daphni Leef, one of the leaders of last year’s social justice movement, commented on Facebook about the case yesterday, saying “Freedom and liberty start from a personal decision. The Tel Aviv Municipality didn’t want me to take a tent out to the street. From their perspective, they wouldn’t have allowed me the freedom to act [to protest freely],” she wrote.
In addition to her post, she published several other examples of police brutality during the protests.
Danielle Ziri contributed to this report.