Wednesday, June 04, 2008

For a change

I read stories regularly about police in Israel which are based in corruption, incompetence and/or brutality so when a different narrative arises I think it deserves a little play. Ynet News:
For the policemen of Nazerath Illit it may have been a small donation of a few shekels, but it also meant sparing an innocent 75-year-old man from being thrown in a prison cell with drug addicts and sex offenders.

Several days ago the Nazerath Ilit police station received an arrest warrant against a 75-year-old elderly resident with no relatives to speak of. “He survives on a mere NIS 800 ($ 244) a month,” said Nazerath Illit police chief, Superintendent Lutfi Falah. “It turned out that he was NIS 4,200 ($1285) in debt to various parties, and a warrant was issued by the court's debt collection department." After informing the man of the warrant for his detainment, police took him into custody and escorted him to the Nazareth District Court where his case was reviewed by the court registrar.

“The registrar sympathized with the man’s difficult financial situation and set his bail at NIS 200 ($61),” said Superintendent Falah, “but he only had NIS 15 ($4.5) on him. It was clear he would have to remain in custody just because he was unable to make bail.”

The man was taken back to the police station, where word of his plight quickly spread throughout the department and it was promptly decided to open a collection towards his release. Opening their hearts, and pockets, the policemen soon raised the necessary sum and paid the court voucher, sending the elderly detainee back home.

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