Racial Profiling by the Police Towards an Ethiopian Boy
ACRI filed a tort claim against the Police on behalf of a 16 year old Ethiopian boy. The boy, a Holon resident, never got in trouble with the law. Despite this, he was repeatedly “marked” as a suspect by the Israeli Police, and he experienced three needless instances of search and investigation by officers near his home. His classmates, who are no different from him except for the color of their skin, were never asked to explain to an officer what they are doing in their own neighborhood or experience a humiliating search.
We argued that the behavior of the officers violated the boy’s right to equality and dignity, unjustifiably revoked his freedom, and invaded his privacy. We mentioned that the events had crushed his confidence, turning him from a boy who once felt proud and saw himself belonging to his neighborhood, city and country, to a scared boy feeling alienated from his environment. In the claim, we regarded the severe repercussions of racial profiling and discrimination in Police conduct on the individual and the society as a whole.
On March 5, 2021, the Magistrate’s Court in Tel Aviv-Yafo ruled that the police will compensate the boy with NIS 20,000. In its ruling, the Court acknowledged the severe harm of racial profiling.
The result of the ruling may be positive, but it demonstrates the difficulty of proving racial profiling in individual cases. The Court accepted the plaintiff’s version in full regarding one of the events in the claim, but the Police’s version of another event.
For further information (Hebrew)