Israel Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai drew his weapon during a meeting with senior officials last month and used it to gesture at something in a presentation, the Haaretz newspaper reported on Tuesday.
According to the report, which cited police sources who attended the meeting, Shabtai drew his gun and used its attached laser rangefinder to point at something written in a slide during a presentation. Several of those in attendance were reportedly shocked by his actions, and moved aside while he was holding the weapon.
“Another officer who did that would have been immediately brought up on charges,” a police official told Haaretz, noting that Shabtai only briefly held the weapon before returning it to its holster.
“Even if he would have disassembled the gun beforehand — it’s unthinkable to use a weapon to mark something in some presentation.”
Police regulations state that weapons should only be used for operational purposes and in self-defense.
In a statement, the Israel Police called the accusation “gossip” spread by “unknown sources” that only served to distract from the police department’s vital activities.
According to the report, last year Shabtai was using a knife during a police meeting and accidentally cut the leg of the official sitting next to him. Israel Police said that Shabtai was using the knife to peel fruit, but sources at the meeting claimed he was simply playing with the weapon during the meeting.
Shabtai — who previously served as head of the Border Police — was sworn in as police chief in January after the position was unfilled for two years due to government infighting and repeated elections. Several senior police officials resigned following Shabtai’s confirmation for the top job.