Cop indicted for shooting of Arab man with special needs

Police stationed at the Lion’s Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem erroneously suspected the victim of attempting to carry out a terror attack.

By Aryeh Savir, TPS

A policeman who shot and killed Iyad Halak, an Arab man with special needs, was indicted after being charged with manslaughter.

Police stationed at the Lion’s Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem on May 30, 2020, erroneously suspected Halak, 31, of attempting to carry out a terror attack.

He was carrying an object in his hand that appeared to them to be a weapon. When the forces called on him to stop, he fled the scene. He was subsequently shot.

The police’s Internal Affairs Department announced Thursday that it has decided to prosecute the 20-year-old policeman for the shooting of Halak.

Internal Affairs stated that “this is a difficult and unfortunate incident that resulted in the death of a young man with special needs. The decision to prosecute the shooting officer was made after an in-depth examination of the evidence, weighting of all the circumstances of the incident, and following a hearing.”

The investigation indicates that Halak fled to an area to which the chasing officers entered after him. The suspected officer saw Iyad in the corner of the compound and fired at him, even though his commander shouted at him “Stop.”

Read  ‘Guardian of the Walls 2 is coming’: Ben-Gvir unveils new plans for police

As a result of the first shooting, Iyad was hit in the lower abdomen and fell to the ground. Immediately after the first shooting the commander shouted again “cease fire.”

At this point, more policemen entered the compound, and the suspected policeman shouted at Iyad in Hebrew “do not move.” At the same time, one of the policemen asked Iyad in Arabic, “where is the gun?”

Iyad, who was wounded by the first shooting, rose and pointed at a woman he knew and mumbled something.

In response, the policeman turned to the woman and asked her in Arabic, “where is the gun?” and she replied, “which gun?”

At this point, the suspected policeman fired another shot at Iyad.

The shooting occurred “when the deceased did not hold anything in his hands and did not perform an action that justified the shooting at him,” the indictment said.

Furthermore, the policeman shot at Halak while “taking an unreasonable risk that could cause death and therefore it was found, as stated, that there is room to prosecute him.”