A Palestinian man from East Jerusalem has filed a complaint of police misconduct after he was tasered five times at a Tel Aviv water park this week, in front of his five children.
Haaretz reports 42-year-old Talal Siad went to hospital suffering from burns and nausea after the incident.
He had gone to the waterpark with his family to celebrate the Id al-Fitr holiday on Tuesday when the trouble began. Police were called to the park to control a brawl and after using pepper spray to subdue one of those fighting, Siad stepped in. While he wasn't part of the fight he accused the officers of using unnecessary force on the young man.
He tells Haaretz, "There was a confrontation between a few security men and kids who were fighting among themselves. The officers wanted to arrest the boy who was seen naked in the closed-circuit television system. He fell down and they sprayed him in the face. I saw them repeat that action several times, and then got up with my 3-year-old in my arms and shouted at them to stop. I told the policeman, 'What are you doing? You're killing those kids,' and he told me to leave. I said, 'You're being unreasonable, you go away.'"
Siad says at that point the officer threatened him with the Taser. "I shouted, 'Do you want to shoot me?' and then he shot me in the stomach."
Video shot by several witnesses at the park shows the policeman continued to shock Siad even after he was handcuffed, something against police rules. Siad tells Haaretz, "Every time I tried to rise to my feet, he pulled the trigger and shocked me again, even though I was handcuffed." "My whole body was bleeding. I vomited and then went to the hospital. I was shocked five times, and several times more outside the Meymadion area.
Eyewitness Sa'id Kabub, who filmed the incident, tells Haaretz, "I'm 40, and I began to weep. I came for a day of fun with my wife and kids, to enjoy the holiday. Then there was a brawl; it happens. They should have arrested whoever was involved. But why did they behave like that? It was shocking. One young woman saw the incident and passed out. She was later taken to the hospital in an ambulance."
Tel Aviv police have a different version of what happened. Ynet News quotes officials saying, the video "was edited in a manner that does not reflect the complete picture. There was a massive brawl between two families from East Jerusalem, and several of the participants were wounded and had to be evacuated to receive treatment. Police officers who arrived at the scene were forced to separate the fighting sides and confront a crowd that incited all present to riot and impede the officers' work. The man in the film attacked the policeman and interfered with him in the line of duty. A Taser was used in order to control him."