Border Patrol Officers Indicted for Beating Arab

YERUSHALAYIM -
Israeli policeman outside the Old City. (Reuters/Baz Ratner, File)

Two Border Patrol officers were indicted in a Yerushalayim court on Tuesday for misuse of their weapons, threatening a civilian, and using inappropriate force, in a case of mistaken identity as they were responding to a call they received that said a terror attack was taking place.

According to the indictment, the two were on patrol in the area of the Old City in May 2016. At about 10 p.m., they were informed that a terrorist stabbing attack was taking place inside one of the Arab areas of the Old City. The officers were informed of the location, and they hurried there. They noticed an Arab man walking down the street and, from the information they had, believed him to be the terrorist.

The officers confronted the man, who asked what they wanted. According to his complaint, they began screaming and cursing at him. They then grabbed him by the collar and pushed him into a wall. They then began beating him with their weapons, and aimed their weapons at his head. He told them that he was innocent and, when they refused to stop, yelled at them to “shoot me.”

This went on for several minutes, until the officers gave up and began leaving, with the complainant on the ground, suffering from moderate injuries. The Arab then yelled at the officers that he would complain to police authorities about their behavior. That comment elicited a response from one of the defendants, who returned and beat the Arab again.

Attorneys for the officers did not comment publicly on the charges, or on their defense.