The Police Investigations Department has decided to close its file on an officer who allegedly attacked a 14-year-old. The legal organization Honenu, which is representing the teen, says that the file was closed due to "lack of interest for the public."
Almost a year ago, the youth and three of his friends were arrested. He claims that an officer thought that his cell phone contained a recording of police misconduct and violence, and that the officer punched and choked him in a locked room of the Jerusalem station.
The incident occurred while officers stopped the four teens on Shmuel Hanavi Street and asked them for their ID cards. The youths asked the officers to first identify themselves, to which one refused. The two sides quickly fell to yelling at each other and the episode ended with the four being placed under arrest, some with force.
The teen who filed the complaint says that the officer who refused to identify himself suspected that the teens were filming the situation and the police violence, and so he repeatedly demanded that they hand over their phones.
"The officer took me to the hallway and locked the room. We were there alone and he began to scream at me. He told me, 'I'll show you what the Shin Bet is like,' undressed me, and began to scream and to force me against the wall with my face to the wall," he told police investigators and his lawyer.
"He told me, 'Now you have one last chance – tell me where your phone is now,' and then he held me against the wall, kicked my legs, choked me, and punched me a few times in the back. After that I told him that my friend had it and he said, 'great.' Then he sat me down with another officer while I was shackled to the floor."
Despite this, the police reportedly did not show much interest in the complaint and recently informed the youth that the file has been closed due to "lack of interest for the public."
"After we examined your complaint in question, and after seriously considering all of the relevant circumstances for the complaint, we have come to the conclusion that it would not be proper to open a criminal investigation into the incident, for reasons having to do with the public interest involved in the investigation," the letter said.
The Honenu lawyer dealing with the case has submitted an appeal to state prosecutors, demanding that it be reopened for investigation.
"We are talking about a complaint over the serious offense of assaulting a minor and the conduct of the Investigations Department gives the impression of a lack of motivation to investigation and to take action against officers who have broken the law, including disregarding the procedural rights of the complainant."