JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's Justice Ministry said Wednesday that police have charged an officer who was filmed beating a Palestinian-American teenager during a violent protest in July.
Tariq Abu Khdeir, 15, of Tampa, Florida, was beaten at the east Jerusalem protest that followed the gruesome death of his cousin.
The Justice Ministry said a police investigation concluded that "evidence was found supporting the guilt of the police officer suspected of severe violent crimes." It did not name the officer charged, nor did it say what charges the officer would face.
Israeli police said the 15 year old was "taking an active part in the riot" and that he was masked and carrying a slingshot. Palestinian protesters were throwing fire bombs and rocks at police at the large protest in east Jerusalem when the beating took place.
Tariq Abu Khdeir has denied any wrongdoing. He said he was slammed down, head first, when detained. He added that his hands were tied behind his back and he was kicked in the face, stomach and ribs and went unconscious for a time
Video footage of the beating was widely broadcast on newscasts and prompted the U.S. State Department to express concern.
His cousin, 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khdeir, was burned to death by Israeli extremists in revenge for the killings of three Israeli teens in the West Bank in June. Their deaths set off a chain of events that led to the Gaza war this summer.