A British policeman is being honored by the UK Police Federation with a bravery award for putting his life at risk to intervene in an attack in Jerusalem.

British policeman Richard Burgess was on a pilgrimage to Israel in Feburary 2016. During his time in Jerusalem, he was visiting the grave of Oskar Schindler on Mount Zion, who saved thousands of Jews during the Holocaust. Just before leaving, a woman came up to Burgess and asked him to “please help them, please help them”. He followed the alarmed woman to a nearby alley, where he saw three Arab men beating and dragging what he believed to be a Jewish man.

Hero: Detective Sergeant Richard Burgess (Police Oracle)

According to the UK Police Federation, Burgess “ran at the group, ‘clotheslining’ one of the men, and holding him in a headlock under his right arm. This despite a recent injury, meaning his right hand was not fully functional. With his left hand, he pulled at the Jewish man, freeing him and yelling at him to run. Two other members of the tour [who happened to be off-duty Metropolitan Police officers] arrived to help the man to safety.”

After freeing the Jewish man, the three Arab men started attacking Burgess, who was hit with a claw hammer in the head. Despite being heavily dazed, Burgess managed to get away. Israeli Police have since arrested two suspects they believe to have been involved in the attack, and were convicted of assault.

Richard Burgess showed incredible courage and bravery to intervene and potentially save the life of the Jewish man being attacked. He put his own life at risk to save the life of another in a foreign country, when many would simply run away. As Steve Taylor, chairman of Essex Police Federation said, “he is truly deserving of this nomination.”

Contributed by Daniel Kosky, CAMERA Intern. 

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