JERUSALEM (VINnews) — Police detained a young woman Tuesday for not wearing a mask in an urban neighborhood of Jerusalem. Sounds familiar? However in this instance the girl was in the car park of her own building (see video below) and rightly refused to accompany the police or identify herself. In a public place it is an obligation to wear a mask but a person in their courtyard, even if it is adjacent to a public thoroughfare, should not be detained for not wearing a mask.
The policewomen fought with the girl for a few minutes and then one of them had enough and sprayed tear gas in her face. Tear gas is a noxious substance which should only be used in extreme cases of violence. In this case the girl was simply resisting being detained and should not have been arrested so violently in front of her neighbors. Police rules state that in a situation where it is possible to identify a citizen in other ways, force should not be applied and in this case they could simply have gone up to her apartment and obtained her ID.
The lack of sensitivity and boorishness displayed by police in enforcing coronavirus regulations has destroyed all faith in the police force as an objective body protecting the interests of the population. Most Israelis (even secular) view the police as a group addicted to using gratuitous violence and brute force in order to cover their inability to maintain proper order using the regular methods. As one blogger put it: “Police have been trained to act against criminals. It was not properly explained to them that at present these are not criminals and the situation is complicated. From the minister down to the field commanders nobody understands the difference between enforcement of emergency regulations which is policing and public order and preventing criminal activities. This is a shame.”
התיעוד מההתחלה. pic.twitter.com/5weP2CyFmK— אריאל אלחרר (@ariel_elharar_) October 20, 2020