Preventing Police Officers With Histories of Violence From Using Dangerous Means
Every year, thousands of Israeli Police officers are authorized to use “less than lethal” means for dispersing protests: sponge-tipped bullets, water cannons, “skunk” water, stun grenades, and pepper spray. Despite the fact that these are considered dangerous weapons, even officers who have been convicted in a criminal or disciplinary proceeding for violent offenses are able to use them. Regarding other weapons, such as the taser gun, the Police have established very clearly in their procedures that an officer being authorized to use these weapons is conditional upon not having a disciplinary or criminal conviction in violent offenses.
On 21.3.2021, we appealed to the Legal Advisor of the Police and requested that the Police amend the relevant procedures in order to ensure that violent officers will not be authorized to use these dangerous means. In the request, Attorney Anne Sucio highlighted that it is unreasonable and illogical to distinguish between a taser gun and other means that are no less or even more dangerous. She emphasized that the fact that these means serve Police in dispersing protests further affirmed their duty to establish such a condition.