Tampa, Florida -- A small group gathered outside of Senator Bill Nelson's office in downtown Tampa Friday hoping to get his help to bring the Tampa teen, who is under house arrest in Israel, home.
Tariq Abu Khdier, 15, is accused of throwing rocks at officers during a protest over his cousin's murder. Officers were then caught on camera beating the high school sophomore.
The group was not only demonstrating for Tariq, but for justice for the Palestinian people as tensions rise in the Middle East.
On Monday, July 7, friends and relatives had gathered at the Temple Terrace offices of the Council on American-Islam Relations (CAIR) demanding his release. They argue there is no excuse for the kind of beating the teen endured.
There are, however, people watching this story who – while not condoning the beating -- have raised questions about why Tariq was allowed to get so close to those protests, and what his role was in them.
CAIR, acting as the family's legal counsel, has sent a letter to the Israeli Consulate demanding Tariq be released immediately so he can seek medical attention in the U.S. and not have to wait through several days of house arrest while the incident is being investigated.