In these turbulent times, it’s hard to imagine most Israelis agreeing on anything. Yet there is something that unites haredim, secular Israelis, Arab-Israelis, settlers and Ethiopian-Israelis these days, and that is a sense that police violence has gotten out of control.In the past few days, shocking videos have appeared online of police officers deliberately attacking haredi children. In Betar Illit, an officer threw a bucket at a boy’s head. In another video, a police officer shoved a boy in Jerusalem, knocking him down.Police efforts to break up prayer services at synagogues in Bnei Brak where social distance regulations were not being observed also descended into violence. In one video posted online, four police officers pounced on one haredi man, kneeing him in his groin and shouting “Do not resist!”All this came the day after the police’s appalling treatment of those protesting against the government at sites around the country. A Haaretz reporter documented police officers in Jaffa riding slowly on motorcycles while punching demonstrators. Another video showed a man shouting “shame” into a megaphone until a police officer pushed him toward oncoming traffic before dragging him away. Police officers were seen elbowing protesters in the face.The aforementioned examples are just a small sample of what we’ve seen in recent days, and there are plenty of other groups in society who could say “we told you so” to the secular, Jewish Tel Aviv residents who are used to not having to think twice about the police.This week, Arab-Israelis marked the 20th anniversary of the October 2000 riots, in which 13 Arab rioters were killed by police. The Or Commission investigating the events found that police used excessive force to suppress the violent riots, but no officers were indicted.Settlers recall the 2006 dismantlement of the Amona outpost, where police on horseback trampled those opposing the demolition, among other incidents.Ethiopian-Israelis point to members of their community killed by police in the past 23 years and have repeatedly led protests against police brutality.What most of these groups have in common is that they are either a minority group or in a minority political position, exercising their democratic right to protest what they view as injustice coming from the power of the state.This is not an excuse for breaking the law. These videos also show many people gathering close together without masks on, endangering those around them during the COVID-19 pandemic. In videos of the haredi protesters, some called the police officers “Nazis,” which is deplorable, while some threw rocks and destroyed property, which is deplorable and illegal.But, as difficult as it may be, Israel’s police officers need to show more restraint.Former prime minister Menachem Begin once said: “No police officer in a free country should use his baton against citizen protesters. The right to protest is a natural right that cannot be undermined or taken away.”The coronavirus pandemic does not spare people based on their politics. It does not know whether the person it is infecting is haredi or a protester against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.But the police do know whom they are accosting. In all cases, they should be more selective in the way they use force and the settings in which they do so.Have police been more aggressive at the recent protests against the government in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv so as to appease a political echelon that has clearly singled out the protests? We don’t know. When police attack haredim or Ethiopian-Israelis, is some sort of discrimination against minorities playing a role? Again, we don’t know.But perception is everything. It is little wonder that the Israel Democracy Institute found that only 44% of Jewish Israelis and 38% of Arab-Israelis trusted the police.Perhaps if the government would appoint a chief of police, after two years without one, someone would be able to steer the ship to a more appropriate, less violent response. But that still is no excuse for the abuses of power under interim Israel Police commissioner Motti Cohen. Police violence must be curbed.Other videos showed the police grabbing haredi men, who appeared to be doing nothing wrong, and pushing them into police cars.