Ahuvia Sandak probe heats up as Honenu produces eye-witness

Ahuvia Sandak probe heats up as Honenu produces eye-witness

As the right-wing Honenu NGO released anonymous video testimony of an eyewitness accusing the police of misconduct in the Ahuvia Sandak case, The Jerusalem Post has learned that the police may yet indict the other passengers traveling with Sandak for complicity in his death.Sandak was killed last Monday when the vehicle he was in flipped over while fleeing from police and while the police either accidentally collided with his car or purposely tried to force his car to stop.Early evidence indicates that Sandak was not the driver and that he may not have been wearing a seat belt at the time.The Post has learned that the current police narrative is that the passengers in the car, a mix of minors and young grown-ups, were throwing rocks at moving Palestinian vehicles and even hit and harmed one Palestinian.According to this view, the harmed Palestinian could instead have been killed just as Palestinian woman Aysha Rabi was killed by alleged stone throwing by a minor Jewish extremist in October 2018. Witnesses started to be called in that case this past October.The police narrative then would say that the rock-throwing Jewish activists left the scene to avoid arrest. At a later point, their way forward on the road was blocked by police who had been informed that the rock throwers could be traveling in their direction.Rather than be arrested at the makeshift roadblock, the police version could be that the activists in their car suddenly lurched to the left to go around the police.

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Next, the police pursued them in a dramatic car chase.According to the police, during the chase the activists’ car wove wildly between lanes to manage to escape being caught and the police wove along with it.However, Honenu put out a detailed video on Monday of a woman, whose face was obscured, describing how the police car was out of control and could have even hit her.The woman said that she felt that the police car driver was not even paying attention to other cars on the road like hers and that she felt endangered by the wild driving by the police.Questioned about whether the woman had or would provide official testimony to police, Honenu said the issue had not been decided.A major issue in parallel to the specific issues in the case, is that Honenu and its supporters do not trust the Police Investigations Department to internally investigate their own.Honenu says that PID would just whitewash police conduct.Further, it says that police questioning of the surviving activists from the car accident to date is a problematic attempt to shift culpability for Sandak’s death away from the police.All of this may complicate to what extent eye-witnesses come forward to PID. Absent coming forward, the police belief is that they have no way to know whether this testimony is from someone who was even present at the incident.However, the Post has learned that the police response to such speculation would be that coming forward with other eye-witness accounts is the only way to verify any eye-witness accounts.Even if the video testimony is true, the police would say that they must question any eye-witnesses about how much of the activists’ conduct they saw.For example, the police would likely ask whether eye-witnesses saw the activists wildly jumping between lanes and how the eye-witness could assess whether the police or the activists caused the collision or whether it was the consequence of a dangerous high-speed chase.The police interest in questioning the activists’ about the driving aspects of the incident would shed light on to what extent the driver of the activists’ car could be accused of dangerous driving which caused the collision and Sandak’s death.It is equally clear that the police did not have the right under the circumstances to fire on the activists or to try to intentionally harm them by ramming. If the activists presented some additional present danger beyond the earlier rock throwing, that would change the circumstances.Supporters of Sandak protested Monday night on Bar Ilan Street in Jerusalem, and in Safed. In both locations, they burned tired. The police said seven protesters had been arrested in Jerusalem as of 10 p.m.Jerusalem Post Staff contributed to this report.

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