Police Units Play Blame Game Over Murder At Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade

The police panel examining the failures leading up to the murder of Shira Banki at last month’s Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade has completed its work and submitted its conclusions to acting Police Commissioner Maj. Gen. Bentzi Sau.

Banki, 16, was stabbed to death by an ex-convict, Yishai Schlissel, who had recently been released after serving a 10-year prison sentence for attempted murder at the gay pride march in the capital in 2005. Schlissel also stabbed five other people at the parade.

Investigation of the incident focused on the actions and failures of three police units: the Jerusalem district’s central unit and the police’s Tzion and Moriah units, through whose jurisdiction the parade passed. Officers from the three units blamed each other during discussions of responsibility.

The central unit was responsible for risk assessment, pre-event intelligence and supervision of the event, while Tzion and Moriah were responsible for security around the marchers.

Sources in the police said they expected the committee to recommend that Jerusalem district police chief Maj. Gen. Moshe Edri be reprimanded, but that he would not be removed from his post. However, a number of other senior officers in the district are expected to be removed due to reportedly faulty handling of the situation before and during the event.

The report is to be conveyed to the Banki family. As of Sunday night, though, the family had not received it.

It emerged from committee discussions that Schlissel’s name had come up before the parade but he was not placed under surveillance.

The committee also looked into coordination vis a vis the Israel Prison Service ahead of Schlissel’s release, three weeks before the parade and the police’s plans for the day.

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