"He beat me and shoved me from behind with my face to the wall, he hit me hard, beat me in the ears, kicked me in the ribs and pushed me against the wall… there were slaps and curses, I responded to the curses in kind. In the end, he pushed me against the bench and I was chained at the feet so I couldn't control my movement. I fell, with my hands cuffed behind me, I couldn't stop myself and I fell on my face… I lost a lot of blood and then he stopped hitting me…"
This is the testimony of Dan Rappaport, who was arrested after a party he held in Tel Aviv disturbed the neighbors and he argued with a police officer. The man that assaulted him was not an angry neighbor, but was police officer Amir David.
On Wednesday, the officer was convicted of aggravated assault by the Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court.
According to the verdict, Rappaport held a party for his tenth anniversary and his wife's birthday in December 2008. Noise complaints brought police to the area twice in half an hour, and the party goers dispersed the second time the police arrived.
Rappaport noticed a police officer writing a report to his wife, argued with him, and asked to see his badge twice, using the word "trash".
The officer tried to detain Rappaport, but the latter resisted, and the officer lunged at him and strangled him. The two fell to the ground and another officer arrived and kicked Rappaport in the back.
Rappaport said he did not use any physical violence, did not resist being cuffed, and entered the patrol car. His hands were cuffed behind his back.
"The plaintiff confirmed that he had been drinking, but said he remembers the events. He also confirmed that he responded to the things said to him in kind," the judge wrote.
While waiting at the police station, Rappaport saw his sister, who was also detained, in the next room. He tried to tell her that everything was alright, but the officer Amir David say him back down. The two then began to argue and serious violence ensued.
"The defendant shoved the plaintiff against the wall and punched him in his hears, kneed him in the ribs, and rammed his head against the wall while holding his hair. Afterwards, the defendant slapped the plaintiff several times in the face and pushed him on the floor until he fell and his face hit the floor.
"As a result, the plaintiff suffered damage to his left eardrum, which was punctured, and other damage all over his body including a deep cut above his left eyebrow that required an operation and stitches," the judge wrote.
The judge further ruled that the defendant's testimony was not credible, as he claimed that the plaintiff was cuffed in the front but later said he was required to use force when he tried to cuff him behind his back.
"His report of the incident was short and did not include many details he gave in his testimony to me," the judge wrote, adding, "he noted that as time passed he remembered additional details. Such things are not credible. The defendant was questioned some two months after the incident by the police investigations unit, and there he also claimed not to remember the details. I wonder, what caused his memory to improve after many months?"
According to the ruling, Rappaport "confirmed that he did not act wisely by arguing with the officers and responding in the same tone, but this frustrating behavior certainly does not justify actual violence against a person handcuffed behind their back and with their legs bound."
The officer's sentence will be handed down at a later date.