The Police Internal Investigations Department on Tuesday decided against indicting police officers who allegedly assaulted several youths of Ethiopian
descent and leveled racist slurs at them.
The story of Jajao Bimero, 27, went viral in the social media this past summer; the Hebrew University student filed a complaint with the police, claiming that several cops repeatedly shot him with a Taser gun and told him to "go back to Africa" after he left a club in Haifa early on April 4.
According to Bimero, his friends and him stumbled upon a street fight but did not participate.
Bimero's injuries (Photo: Jajao Bimero)
"We were in the wrong place at the wrong time, but also had the wrong skin color," Bimero said at the time.
"While lying there in the middle of the night, wrongly assaulted, the officer yelled at me 'go back to Africa' and seasoned it with extra profanity. No amount of pepper spray or electric shock could hurt me as much as those words did."
The Internal Investigations Department released the details of its probe into the case on Tuesday, saying that the officers' use of a Taser gun and pepper spray were justified considering the youths' behavior.
According to the findings, two drunken fights involving youths of Ethiopian decent were reported in the vicinity of the Haifa club. The second fight was said to take place in a kiosk, which sustained damage as result.
"Police officers reported on the scene and arrested one of the youths on suspicion of fighting and rioting," the department said, referring to Bimero. "They had to use force against the drunk detainee and his friends, including the use of peppers spray and a Taser gun.
"Officers with the Israel Police are authorized to make legal use of pepper spray and Taser guns while on duty when the circumstances justify doing so. The arrest of a suspect, while his drunk friends are rioting around him, could justify the use of these means."
The police said that they opened a criminal investigation into the cops who, according to Bimero, assaulted him without provocation. However, one witness told the investigators that the officers indeed had to use force in response to group's aggressive behavior. None of the other witnesses, including Bimero's friends, were able to confirm the circumstances that led up to the use of force against him.
"There is no evidence to support Jajao's claim that he was electrocuted five times," the police added.
The department did not deny that racial slurs could have been leveled at the group, but suggested that such insults were issued by both sides.
The police slammed Bimero for choosing to publicize his version on Facebook before the investigation was completed.
"The Internal Investigations Department's probe, which cross-referenced several testimonies and included objective evidence and statements from uninvolved bystanders, found that reality is more complex than (Bimero) described on Facebook. No evidentiary basis has been found to warrant indictments of any of the police officers."