Police investigators say probing officer violence toward reporter at anti-government protest

Jeremy Sharon is The Times of Israel’s legal affairs and settlements reporter

The Department for Internal Police Investigations (DIPI) announces it is examining an incident last night in which Channel 12 reporter Yollan Cohen was violently slung against a tree by a police officer while covering the anti-government protests in Tel Aviv.

In video footage of the incident, Cohen can be seen speaking with Border Police officers, and then grabbed by another police officer and hurled aside toward the tree.

It is the latest of many such incidents, including others recorded during the Saturday night protests.

In an apparent response to criticism of DIPI by the Public Defender’s Office earlier in the day, the DIPI statement adds that all complaints against the police are “thoroughly, professionally and comprehensively examined,” and that the department often opens up investigations of its own accord.

DIPI also states that the State Attorney’s Office and DIPI’s directorate have recently issued instructions to give priority to allegations of police violence during demonstrations. “In light of the importance the State Attorney’s Office ascribes to dealing with police violence in general, and in incidents during protests in particular,” it says.

Earlier today, the Public Defender’s Office said that police violence was a result of “a lack of enforcement against violent police officers” and an attitude of leniency toward such officers.

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