Policeman Who Pulled Protester’s Payos Fined, Receives Suspended Jail Term, Public Service

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JERUSALEM (VINnews) — Nearly three years after an Israeli policeman was documented pulling the peyos of Mordechai  Kroizer during an erroneous arrest, the courts sentenced the policeman, Yaakov Shitrit.

Jerusalem Magistrates Court judge Mohammed Haj Yihya sentenced Shitrit to 300 hours of public service, a three month suspended sentence, a letter of apology to Kroizer and a 6,000 NIS financial compensation.

The judge wrote that “I did not find any rational explanation why the accused acted as he had towards the plaintiff, using violence including pulling his payos while the latter bowed his head due to this. I can only conclude that his behavior was bullyish and intended to humiliate and insult the plaintiff at this time.

“The claim of the accused that he did not pay attention to the way he held him does not hold water since anyway it is unclear why he had to touch his payos while the plaintiff was already being escorted to the police van by three policemen including the plaintiff and there is not indication that he tried to escape or to attack or harm any of the policemen. The behavior of the accused was wrong, unacceptable and ugly.”

Kroizer was arrested during a demonstration in Beit Shemesh against the demolition of an illegal shul structure. The footage, revealed on the Kikar Hashabat site, raised a storm of angry responses. In the wake of the publication the police internal investigations division submitted an indictment against the policeman.

Kroizer told Kikar Hashabat that “he pulled my payos it was a painful and humiliating incident, if he would have pulled more they would have torn. I couldn’t do anything, I couldn’t resist since then they would say I attacked policemen. I felt very insulted, I felt my Judaism was in danger. It’s a miracle that it was all filmed.”

He added that he had not been at the demonstration. “I stood with my wife and children near my house. I saw a big commotion, I came closer to see what it was about. The policeman jumped on me and knocked me to the ground, I don’t remember much but he threw me and hit me and said “you’ll die today, you’ll see what becomes of you.”

 

 


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