Sunday, February 7

A dead dog, police and a few kids: Ajami the sequel?

Yesterday a dog was killed  in a car accident in Ajami. It happens. The dog's owner, a kid from Ajami, did what people do when a beloved pet dies: bury it.
The child and some of his friends buried said dog, crying. Close to the beach and close to the place where the dog had been killed by a quickly driving car.

But right in the middle of the burial ceremony a police car passes by and this is where and when things start going wrong. Kids burying something in Jaffa? Drugs, of course drugs!. The over zealous policemen jump out and run  towards the unsuspecting children.
The kids explain it was a dog they buried. But the police were sure they made a catch and start arresting the crying and terrified children. Tony and Geries Cobti, two guys from Ajami, who watched the scene from their nearby home, go down into the street order to talk to the policemen and explain the misunderstanding.

The Cobti brothers are well known in Jaffa. Both are highly educated sons of a school principal, in short, good kids. University (Technion) graduates with good jobs, nice guys. And yes, they were also involved in the production of their brother Scandar's movie "Ajami".  But to the police they are simple "Arabs from Jaffa".

And being a Palestinian in  Ajami classifies you automatically as "criminal" and "drug dealer". So the brothers were arrested.
Then, some other cocky policemen came to dig up the "drugs", but all they found was the corpse of a dog. Oops. So what do they do? They do the thing the police always do: claim the brothers attacked the police. 

Usually that claim works wonders. Many kids from Jaffa have some sort of a record. A few juvenile mistakes, and as a result they can be presented to the court as "withered criminals". The court tends to believe the police and many Jaffans cannot afford a lawyer when arrested. So the accusation of "attacking a police man"  sticks.  And people have done jail time for that offence.

Only this time the police made a small mistake. The highly educated and well employed brothers have no record, are from a strong family of movie making fame. And then there is that dog corpse. 

In addition, the arrest was carried out right in front of press photographer Muhamad Babai's home so there is evidence to the contrary.

In this case every one in Jaffa knows the accusation is yet another attempt by the police to justify their performance in Jaffa. The accusation won't stick this time, i expect.
But what if the brothers were not of Ajami fame, as happens so often? What if it had happened in some dark corner and not in front of Babai's camera?
How many others have been arrested,. tried and found guilty of crimes they never committed?


e.e. said...

What a pity a live dog didn't jump out of the pit and bite the policeman's cojones off!
(Excuse the low-grade humour)

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Oakland, California. Cops are no different here, or anywhere.

Anonymous said...

So what happened. Id have hoped the police after lying under oath were then shown to be liars as the film was shown in the courts. You have to love the power cameras are bringing. Police lying under oath caught out its priceless. You should make this a strategy for dealing with police. The world sees

yudit said...

case was closed by police last week, not enough evidence they said....