Police brutality: Amona resident sues for 70,000 NIS
Sunday, May 28, 2017, 10:59 Honenu has filed a 70,000 NIS suit on behalf of Amichai Katz, an Amona resident, for the police brutality he suffered during the evacuation of Amona. During the evacuation the resident was dragged by policemen and assaulted by a police officer who grabbed his genitals in a violent and degrading manner. “An injury such as this, during the evacuation of a man from his home is unnecessary, dangerous, humiliating, and is added to the very injury of being evacuated from the house which the plaintiff had been living in since he was married, for over seven years,” wrote Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher. The suit states that when the police forces started to enter the area of Amona on the day of the evacuation, they encountered protesters who blocked them, and the police responded violently. At this stage the plaintiff stepped out of his house to see what was happening. He encountered a group of policemen clashing with a group of protesters. Policemen were pulling minors out of the group, taking them off to the side, and brutally beating them. The plaintiff approached the police and demanded that they leave the youths alone and stop beating them. In response he received a threatening look from a police officer. Then the plaintiff distanced himself from the site. A few minutes later several policemen jumped on him and took hold of him. Two policemen held his arms, other policemen lifted him by his legs, and they brought him past the line of policemen. At this stage, as the plaintiff was being taken by the policemen, the officer who had given him the threatening look approached him and tightly grabbed his genitals with the intent of causing him pain and injury. The plaintiff shouted at the officer to let go of him, but the officer released his grip only after several seconds of tight and cruel squeezing. A Channel 2 (Israeli) camera recorded the incident. “The police abused its authority by physically and emotionally injuring the plaintiff and his dignity. There was no justification for the act, no need for it with regards to police operations. The plaintiff was being held by several policemen and there was no reason under any circumstances, certainly not in the instance that is the subject of the suit, to grab him by the genitals and to tightly squeeze them in order to cause extreme pain and possibly serious damage that will stay with the plaintiff for the rest of his life,” wrote Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher in the statement of claim. “The plaintiff experienced a great deal of pain and a severe violation of his rights and his freedom. The injury, even though the intense physical pain has subsided, will leave a deep emotional scar and he will carry the trauma of the incident with him for the rest of his life. Beyond the serious injury of the pain to the body of the plaintiff there is the sexual injury. The injury humiliated and denigrated the plaintiff and was completely irrelevant to the role of the police. “The plaintiff was evacuated from what had been his family’s home for seven years. The expulsion itself was a traumatic experience for the plaintiff and for that reason alone the defendant should have been particularly sensitive during the expulsion. Unfortunately the defendant behaved in the opposite manner of what was expected. The assault by the defendant, as described above, doubles or triples the intensity of the injury to the plaintiff,” added Bleicher. Please see here a partial listing of cases in which Honenu’s staff provided legal counsel to demonstrators detained while protesting the destruction of Amona and to individuals who either suffered or witnessed police brutality.