DJ Jack Chang from London, who was invited to play at a party organized by the LGBT community to kick of Pride week events, was arrested upon arrival at Ben Gurion Airport on the grounds that the date rape drug was found among his belongings.
Law enforcement officials rushed to issue a statment about the "arrest of a big drug courier," but after four days in detention, their error came to light: the seized chemical was not the date rape drug, but ... eye drops.
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Eventually the DJ was released and so was the Israeli who came to meet him at the airport. As for party goers who had anticipated the DJ’s set, they have yet to be compensated. Amir Ohana, the lawyer representing Chang and the Israeli man, told Ynet, “Police management of this case was just an embarrassment."
The incident occurred a few days after the Barnoar murders returned to the headlines, as police won accolades from the LGBT community for bringing the shooter to justice. Now their actions are being scrutinized, and critcized. In this incident, police made quick judgment without having all the facts, and rushed to celebrate their victory.
DJ Jack Chang sent back home by officials
Several hours before the Pride Parade, police announced the arrest of a "drug courier" who had arrived from England. "The suspect, aged 36, had flown to Israel to celebrate Pride Week. In his possession were vials containing a substance suspected to be the drugs GHB and GBL weighing 150 grams," police stated. "In addition, a resident of Tel Aviv, age 31, who came to meet the courier, was arrested as well."
But the facts were entirely different. DJ Jack was visiting to play at one of the Pride Week parties. He had been invited by one of the LGBT community's leading PR men, and thus, a representative was sent to meet him at the airport.
In court, Ohana confirmed that the DJ did carry with him two bottles with liquid and a speed pill weighing one gram, which he intended to take to the party. Jack tried explaining to airport officials that the the vials they found were eye drops, but to no avail. The DJ and the Israeli were placed in custody for four days, until the chemicals were tested at a forensic laboratory in Jerusalem.
Judge Daniel Shirazi noted that she authorized the arrests because she was provided with a confidential report from the police stating, "The investigation maintains reasonable suspicion of early contact between the suspects, contact which can be said with much confidence was designed in part to import the chemicals found in the possession of suspect two."
But even after four days of detention, police failed to attain the anticipated results from the lab’s test of the materials. Meanwhile, police proceeded to arrest the party’s organizer, and remanded the three suspects.
This time, Justice Dorit Reich-Shapiro gave police another day of detention in order to investigate their suspicions, and this was, "although the investigation has not progressed at an appropriate rate, and the claim that 48 hours are required to obtain a forensic opinion was not compelling in the first place, and is certainly not compelling after the four days have gone by since seizing the suspected drug materials."
The next day, it turned out that the item was in fact nothing more than eye drops. The three were released and the only condition was that DJ Jack leave the country immediately.
"It is very disturbing the ease with which you can detain people who have no connection to delinquency, based solely on information provided by an anonymous police source, without taking into account the possibility that it might be a business competitor who is interested in ruining the party. It is no less disturbing that the court places such high trust in the suspicions of police and utilizes the weapon of detention so easily."
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