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Tariq Abu Khdeir: More officers should face justice for my beating

Israel files assault charges against a police officer filmed beating the 15-year-old American teenager; Tariq and his family demand two other Israeli police officers face justice for their involvement in the beating earlier this summer.

Tariq Abu Khdeir speaks about his beating at a CAIR panel in the U.S. (Screenshot, CAIR)

Tariq Abu Khdeir speaks about his beating at a CAIR panel in the U.S. (Screenshot, CAIR)

The Israeli police officer who was filmed beating unconscious a 15-year-old Palestinian-American boy in Jerusalem in July has been charged with assaulting a minor.

An internal police investigation found evidence “supporting the guilt of the police officer suspected of severe violent crimes,” according to Israel’s Justice Ministry.

The teen, Tariq Abu Khdeir, said at a press conference in Florida yesterday, he thinks two more Israeli officers should be facing charges in his beating.

“I hope everyone, every officer that took part in my beating is taken to justice,” he said.

Khdeir was arrested during East Jerusalem protests following the abduction and brutal murder of his cousin, 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khdeir, which came after the abduction and murder of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank.

Tariq Abu Khdeir’s beating was caught on video, which shows the accused officer and additional officers arresting the boy, with one policeman apparently sitting on Khdeir to handcuff the boy while the accused officer is seen kicking and punching the boy repeatedly. A third officer is also seen helping drag Abu Khdeir toward a police vehicle, during which time the accused officer again kicks the boy who appears to be unconscious.

“These criminal charges are long overdue and we are troubled that the other officers involved in the beating have yet to face any form of justice,” Hassan Shibly, the Abu Khdeir family’s attorney in Florida and executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations Florida, said in a statement.

According to the indictment, the other officers “did not attack the boy, nor could [they] have prevented it, and therefore were excluded from the suit,” Ynet reported. The name of the accused officer is under gag order.

Tariq said he was watching the protests, three days after his cousin was killed, and trying to get away from the violence between Israeli police and protestors when he was chased by three officers, beaten and arrested.

Israeli police said the 15 year old took part in the protests, resisted arrested and was carrying a slingshot to throw stones. He was held for three days by Israeli authorities before being released under pressure from the U.S. government.

American citizen Tarek Abu Khdeir, 15, after being beaten by Israeli police. (Photos provided to Addameer by the Abu Khdeir family.)

American citizen Tariq Abu Khdeir, 15, after being beaten by Israeli police. (Photos provided to Addameer by the Abu Khdeir family.)

Shibly said he and the Abu Khdeir family were “troubled that many of Tariq’s relatives continue to be incarcerated by Israeli police without charge in apparent retaliation for the publicity the Khdeir case generated.”

“After another cousin of the slain East Jerusalem teenager [Mohammed Abu Khdeir] was arrested on July 28, also a U.S. citizen, the State Department accused Israel of ‘singling out’ his relatives,” Times of Israel reported.

Suha Abu Khdeir, the boy’s mother, said it was “a shame that in order for [Israeli authorities] to take action it had to be an American citizen that this happened to.”

Abu Khdeir, the bruises on his face now healed two months after the beating, said he was grateful that the incident was caught on video and for being American — the two most likely reasons that charges were filed against the Israeli officer at all.

“I just want justice for what the Israeli police did to me and I don’t want this happening to . . . anyone else, especially children,” he said.

Related:
Why are Palestinian citizens expected to be loyal to Israel?
Why Palestinian citizens of Israel are no longer safe
Israel’s other war: Silencing Palestinian citizens
Tariq Abu Khdeir wasn’t the first and he won’t be the last

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    1. bor

      The boy is right that the other officers who were there should be charged. There is no excuse for this behavior.

      Having said that, the family should stop with two lies. The first is that they should admit that the boy was directly involved in the riots. They should realize that just as they demand integrity from Israel’s police, they need to demonstrate integrity.

      Second, the remark that so many family members are detained is nonsensical – even if it is good fodder for attacking Israel – since this family has about 800 (eight hundred) members living just in Shuafat. We all saw the demonstrations, so of course some of the 800 who were protesting will be arrested. It’s not retaliation, it’s simple statistical likelihood.

      Again, I’ll repeat with where I began, the officer should be convicted and his fellow officers should receive some punishment as well.

      Reply to Comment
      • There are all sorts of cases of targeted police action in the US; consider the LA anti gang unit in the late 90’s, which was shut down after Federal indictments. In the LA case, the some in the unit were planting evidence to “find” because they “knew” the owner of say the car was guilty anyway. Even more blatant episodes happened in the Jim Crow era.

        Looking at the video, you can see that the other officers did not care at all about the beating. That’s a strong signal that the act is in their minds acceptable. If a major LA task force can be shut down, so too these police removed. But–and this is the important structural point–Israel has no Federal Prosecutors not also wedded to the same security logic. Even if all videoed are punished, what will it change? How do you lock in reform? Does the State want to do that?

        An officer from the American consulate, immediately called by the boy’s mom, had to wait three days to see him. The officer went to the station repeatedly and was turned back. Your greatest ally was turned back when one of its citizens was beaten. Get on the reform.

        Reply to Comment
        • Ray

          They won’t get on the reform. Israelis are very narcissistic; they are unable to comprehend flaws in their attitudes and behavior. Everything is the fault of the “other” party. Even if they admit what they do is wrong, they won’t let it make them question themselves; they’ll just brush it off as a one-off “mistake,” or a tactical error.

          Reply to Comment
    2. Anon y Mouse

      “they should admit that the boy was directly involved in the riots.”

      How do you know this? Is there a video that the world hasn’t seen, but you are in possession of?

      Reply to Comment
      • Shannon

        In Boring Bar’s mind it has to be the case. No Jew on moral highground from Unicorn land where Bor lives, would beat someone just cause he is a totalitarian character who believes he is superior.
        I’m wondering why he(she didn’t claim the boy just crawled out of a “terror tunnel” and totally deserved it.

        Reply to Comment
      • bor

        Two reasons: one, his location; two, the anger of those arresting him.

        Reply to Comment
        • Bor, those are laughable reasons. You couldn’t even get a grand jury in America to indict on such flimsy “evidence” and, as the popular saying goes, “You can get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich”.

          His location only proves that he was around the protests and was watching them. . . something he readily admits. As far as the cops’ anger goes… it proves nothing. Maybe the cops are angry at ALL Palestinians. Maybe they genuinely get their jollies out of gratuitously beating up Palestinians. Or MAYBE they genuinely thought that he had a slingshot and was mistaken. Or MAYBE they were frustrated at being targeted by other Palestinians and just lashed out at the one that they caught. In any case, ABSOLUTELY NO REAL EVIDENCE HAS BEEN INTRODUCED THAT HE HAD A SLINGSHOT.

          There is a lot of police brutality all over the world. I’m sure you are aware of what’s happened in Ferguson, Missouri. According to your logic, EVERY act of police brutality is justified because the cops are angry at their victims.

          No reasonable person would take such a stance. This post, more than anything else, exposes you for what you are…an apologist for extremists whose sole goal is to provide excuses for Israel, evidence and logic be damned. And if the evidence isn’t there to support you, you will just make stuff up and hope no one is smart enough to catch you in the act.

          Reply to Comment
          • Let me modify what I wrote in my previous post. I wrote:

            “According to your logic, EVERY act of police brutality is justified because the cops are angry at their victims”

            I should have written:

            According to your logic, if there is police brutality then that is evidence in itself that their victim had done something illegal.” Of course that logic would only encourage police brutality since officers who want their arrests to stick will have an incentive to manufacture “evidence” by beating people up.

            You used evidence that was both widely speculative and beyond circumstantial to conclude for a FACT that Tariq was guilty of carrying a slingshot. Let me show you how you can use that technique to conclude just about anything.

            We know for a FACT that Israel pays students to spin their hasbara anonymously online to bolster support for Israel.

            http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/.premium-1.541142

            http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/students-offered-grants-if-they-tweet-proisraeli-propaganda-8760142.html

            http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2013/08/14/israel-students-social-media/2651715/

            We also know for a FACT that the IDF has organized a cadre of volunteers to post hasbara anonymously online to win points for a virtual game.

            http://www.jpost.com/Features/In-Thespotlight/Want-to-help-defend-Israel-Become-a-virtual-soldier

            Based on this alone, I could jump to the conclusion that YOU are a paid hasbarist. But I’m sure you aren’t a student being paid to do this. And how do I know this? You are too good at what you do to be a student. In fact, You are EXTREMELY good at what you do, You think nothing of whipping out a 3 – 5 page essay containing detailed historical background knowledge.

            Does Israel continue to employ students as paid shills after they graduate? I have no proof that they do, but failure to do so would be wasteful. Becoming really good at this craft, like any craft, takes years of study and experience. It would be wasteful and stupid NOT to continue the employment of the very best of the student hasbarists after they graduate. And Israel does not have a reputation of being wasteful and stupid.

            And you Bar, are one of the best out there at spinning things Israel’s way. You have deep knowledge of history and your mastery of rhetorical technique is second to none. It is hard to imagine any student or anyone who has a full time job having the time to do what you do.

            So using the standard of evidence that you used to conclude that Tariq was carrying a slingshot, I conclude that you are a paid hasbarist for Israel and this is your full time job.

            If my conclusion is wrong this only proves that the type of wild speculation that you use can often miss the mark.

            Reply to Comment
          • bor

            God, that was boring and stupid.

            I’ll repeat, I believe the family is lying for two reasons. The first is that the boy was obviously right in the middle of the action. You can see this in the video of the beating. The likelihood that he was just standing around and got a couple of policemen enraged to the point of arrest and a beating while just standing around in the middle of all the rioting could happen, but is very unlikely to happen.

            Reply to Comment
          • You can repeat it a thousand times. But no matter how many times you repeat it, that still isn’t EVIDENCE.

            Reply to Comment
          • bor

            Of course it’s not actual evidence, it’s very strong circumstantial evidence.

            Reply to Comment
    3. sahera khalid

      Why?????why children? why anyone to be tortured, bullyed…Israel please stop. ..we are resisting. …the consequence..will be terrible

      Reply to Comment