Police suspend officer in Beersheba murder case

Investigation leads to suspending Officer after revealing she failed to arrive at scene despite having said she had.

Knife (illustrative) 370 (photo credit: Knife)
Knife (illustrative) 370
(photo credit: Knife)
A policewoman and a municipal inspector were suspended on Wednesday after it emerged that they had lied about arriving at the scene of a noisy group of youths in Beersheba, hours before a father was stabbed to death while trying to quiet them down.
Gadi Vichman went to speak to the youths two hours after his wife, Michal, called police to the park near their home early on Saturday. When the municipal patrol car failed to materialize, and the noise – which included shouting and bottles breaking – continued, Vichman went downstairs to speak to the youths, and was stabbed to death.
A Southern District Police investigation concluded that the policewoman and inspector could not have attended the scene despite being called, due to holes in their accounts of the incident.
Both had claimed that they arrived at the park and found it empty, but police suspect they did not even drive to the location.
“I’ve asked for an in-depth examination of police conduct,” Police Insp.-Gen. Yohanan Danino said during a press conference in Jerusalem. “The conduct of the officers who dealt with the incident will be examined. This is severe by any standard.”
Danino said the public’s lack of trust in police had to be dealt with immediately, adding, “And we will deal with it.”
Michal said the officers’ negligent conduct had directly led to her husband’s murder.
Meanwhile, the main murder suspect reenacted the incident before police on Wednesday.
The suspect, 22-year-old Eden Ohion of Beersheba, at first denied having been at the scene, but later admitted that he had stabbed Vichman, claiming it had been an act of self defense.
Donning a large black kippa, Ohion showed homicide detectives his version of events, as a weeping Michal sat overhead in her balcony surrounded by family.
Ohion changed his story after other suspects who were with him began cooperating with police.
Michal did not watch the reenactment, but asked relatives who looked on whether the alleged killer appeared remorseful. She recalled how he had cursed her and her husband after they said they would call police, and said he would wait for their arrival.
Vichman had been trying to put his two-year-old daughter to sleep, but was unable to do so because youths were smashing bottles and shouting in the small park near his apartment building at 2 a.m. last Saturday morning.
Overcoming his wife’s attempts to block his path, Vichman headed out into the street to speak to the youths, but was head-butted and stabbed.
Police said the identity of the suspects had become apparent hours after the incident, but arrests had come only days later so police could survey the suspects, tap their phones and collect incriminating evidence against them.