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Police negligence caused false detention

Thursday, January 26, 2017, 12:59 Honenu filed a 15,000 NIS suit on behalf of a Shomron resident who was detained for 10 hours due to an error in a police console and the callousness of policemen who did not verify his claims at the scene. The statement of claim describes how the detention caused chaos within the plaintiff’s family, whose daily routine was completely disrupted. The incident occurred on Tuesday, January 24 when the plaintiff was on a hike with a relative in the Jordan Valley region. A patrol car passed by them and the policemen demanded that they present their ID cards. Shortly thereafter the police informed the plaintiff that he was being detained. According to the statement of claim, which describes how the incident transpired, which was filed by Honenu the following day with the Jerusalem Magistrate Court on behalf of the plaintiff, the policeman did not respond to the plaintiff’s questions but rather ordered him to get into the patrol car. In the patrol car the policeman told the plaintiff that he was detained due to a subpoena outstanding against him. The plaintiff responded that the subpoena was no longer outstanding and explained the situation. He is currently being tried for involvement with an incident that occurred several years previously: Policemen arrived at a community in the Shomron to detain residents and a clash ensued. Several months previously a subpoena was issued against him because he failed to appear at a deliberation. Since then he has already been detained, posted the bail set by the court, and appeared at two deliberations in the case, one of them two weeks prior to the current detention. His explanations were to no avail and the policeman refused the clarify the matter. The plaintiff was transferred to the Hevron Police Station, a long distance from the site of his detention in the Jordan Valley. Because the case is being tried at the Petah Tikva Magistrate Court and handled by the Central Unit of Yehuda and Shomron Police, whose headquarters are located at the Yehuda and Shomron District Police Station in Ma’ale Adumim, the Hevron Police did not understand why the plaintiff had been brought to them. After a long period of time and many clarifications, the commander on duty at the Hevron Police Station suggested that one of the plaintiff’s friends send police the court records which show that the subpoena had been fulfilled and that the plaintiff had appeared at the deliberations. After the police received the court records the plaintiff was unconditionally released in the late evening. It turned out that on the police console in the patrol car the plaintiff had erroneously appeared as still being required to appear in court. The police refused to drive the plaintiff home and he was forced to hitch-hike from Hevron to the Shomron. He arrived home late at night. From the statement of claim: “This was simply negligence. Not deleting the record in the police console caused the false detention of the plaintiff. Additionally the matter could have been clarified at the scene, without detaining the plaintiff, instead of at the police station. When the plaintiff explained to the policeman that an error had occurred, he should have either listened or allowed the plaintiff to speak to the policemen, at the station, who had entered the information into the console, which would have prevented the false detention. More moderate conduct on the part of the police would have likely prevented the harm caused as a result of the negligence in the police records.” Honenu: “Time after time we handle cases of false detention stemming from police negligence. The unreceptiveness of the policemen who heard a detailed claim from an individual and refused to clarify it indicates a lack of proper consideration. The price is paid by the same individuals who are injured. The compensation comes also from the Israeli taxpayers, and the policemen’s time and resources are also wasted. We hope that the police draw the correct conclusions from the incident.”

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