Doctor Charged With Felony at Gaza Protest Says Cops are Lying

The South Florida doctor arrested for felony battery at the Israeli-Palestinian protest in Miami says he has video footage that will prove cop's allegations are "untrue and unfounded." According to a Miami police report, Riadh Atmani -- a bearded, NBA-sized 42 year-old Humane Society veterinarian --hit an officer in the face and broke his glasses around 3:30 p.m. Sunday.

Turns out, there may be more to the story. As the Naples Daily News reported yesterday, the Bonita Springs doc countered he was protecting an older female protester who had stepped off the sidewalk and was being harassed by an officer. He contends: "The police officer grabbed her brutally. I interposed myself between her and him. ... I gave him my back. I wasn't touching him at all. I was holding her."

He added: "I'm a respected doctor. I've dedicated my life to helping animals."

The Council on American-Islamic Relations in Miami is reportedly working to get the charges dropped. And Riptide is still trying to get Atmani to call us back. We've heard murmurs from protesters that some police reports from the demonstration are exaggerated. So we're dying to see video footage or photographs. Anybody with info, contact natalie.o'neill@miaminewtimes.com 305-571-7544.

--Natalie O'Neill

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