Calls for External Inquiry Into Death of Youth Killed During Police Chase

YERUSHALAYIM -
Israeli police officers clash with demonstrators during a protest following the death of Ahuvya Sandak a few days ago in a car crash during a police chase, outside police headquarters in Yerushalayim, Motzoei Shabbos. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Dozens of community leaders called on Internal Security Minister Amir Ohana to establish an external commission of inquiry to investigate the death of Ahuvya Sandak and the police’s procedures.

Sandak, 16, was killed last Monday when the car he was driving in with another four youth was being chased by the police and overturned during the high-speed pursuit.

An initial inquiry shows that the police car rammed them from behind and caused the deadly accident. Furthermore, the police failed to properly treat the victims at the site of the accident.

Police Internal Affairs has launched an investigation into the incident.

In their letter, the leaders wrote that they were “hurt by the shocking incident in which the dear boy Ahuvya Sandak was killed during a police chase that ended in a serious accident.”

“This is a very serious, painful and unprecedented event,” they wrote, warning that they “fear an abyss may open up between the Israel Police and large segments of the public, with an emphasis on the youth, in the wake of this tragedy.”

They called for the establishment of an external commission of inquiry.

“It is extremely important to restore trust. There is no other way to do this than to establish an external commission of inquiry. A police commission of inquiry, or a check by Internal Affairs, although important, will not restore public trust and the damage affects us all.”

They appealed to Ohana to exercise his authority as Internal Security Minister and to establish an external commission of inquiry to examine the procedures of the Nationalist Crime Unit in the Yehudah and Shomron district.

Sandak’s family is demanding that the officers involved in the incident be charged with murder.

The protests over Sandak’s death continued on Motzoei Shabbos, when 26 demonstrators were arrested, including 12 minors.

The detainees complained of severe police violence during the arrests. Police also used cavalry and a water cannon to disperse the protesters.

Twelve policemen were injured in the clashes, some from rocks thrown at them.