Night before last at the Penarik-Kampung Raja road in Setiu, Trengganu, Police manning a road black shot at a Perodua Kancil which rammed through the check point.
The car continued down the road and was shortly discovered abandoned. The driver had scooted off, but inside the vehicle was an injured 14-year-old girl. She was in the car with her boyfriend, the bloke who had charged through. One of several shots fired by the police at the car hit her in the back. She was rushed to hospital, where her condition is reported to be stable.
A manhunt is on for the 20-year old boyfriend, who is alleged to be involved in the theft of outboard engines.
The New Straits Times described the police shooting as a policeman firing from his sub-machine gun. Now, I don’t want to be always bashing the police (and I have done a lot of that lately) but has this sort of police action, firing a submachine gun at a fleeing car, been proportionate?
So what if the bloke is a thief, but really, did he deserve such strong reaction? Does police procedure or standing instructions demand that kind of arresting action?
Spraying a hail of bullets onto an escaping car when there was no evident of terrorist or any firing from unknown occupant or occupants seems way too excessive. What if that bloke was a drunk and not in command of his faculties? Should our society say, "Tough luck, You were drunk, therefore you deserve to be shot!"
More importantly, what about the possibility of innocent passengers who might not have much of a say in the driver taking upon himself to violate the road block? This was what probably had happened in this case.
Certainly the police should stop the car but there could be other ways of doing that without the Rambo style of trigger-happy reaction. One of the principles of law is that it's better to let the guilty get away than to allow the innocent to be unjustly punished. That's why when there's reasonable doubt in a court case, the verdict should be in the accused's favour. The same principle should be upheld by police at the sharp end.
The police could have shot at the car tires but then again, which idiot dare to ram through a police roadblock.ReplyDelete
I would probably start shooting as well - all we know there could be a most wanted criminal gang inside the car.
As I said, the police could have shot at the car tires but given the circumstances, I don't blame the police - the 14 year old girl who got injured in the process is just tough luck
balajoe, I had posed the question: Should our society say, "Tough luck, You were drunk, therefore you deserve to be shot!"ReplyDelete
You answered it! ;-)
I had also stated: One of the principles of law is that it's better to let the guilty get away than to allow the innocent to be unjustly punished. That's why when there's reasonable doubt in a court case, the verdict should be in the accused's favour. The same principle should be upheld by police at the sharp end.
What do you think?
I may not agree with what the police had done but I can understand the need for the police to shoot. Like balajoe said, it could have been the most wanted criminal in the case, which will translate to either I die or you die. Easy option. However you are right to say that they could have shot at the tires first, as in this case no shots were fired from the car. Nobody rams through a police block unless there is something to hide, only question how big that something is. In a court case, it is a controlled situation, whereas in a road block anything can happen and therefore the same principle cannot be applied.ReplyDelete
i cannot agree with anyone of you. this is like shoot first, ask later. what if the driver had a sudden heart condition, what if the roadblock was a hidden one (which they normally are), hidden in the sense, that you only notice after you come out of a corner/curve and the driver didnt see the road block until too late. i ask you, if you were to accidently knocked down the police barricade, would you stop your car and apologise ? i bet you'll get smack/whack before the police even start asking you any questions, then you can ask yourself again whether the police had any right to shoot at the kancil or not.ReplyDelete
ktemoc...as a lawyer myself, I agree with your arguments BUT...ReplyDelete
..the moment you ram through a police roadblock, you loses all the benefit of reasonable doubt. Further, if you read the story, the police already know that the boyfriend is a suspect in a crime. That diminishes the benefit of doubt even further (although that may not prove that the boyfriend is guilty but if you are ramming a roadblock, what do you think?).
And as for the question "Should our society say, "Tough luck, You were drunk, therefore you deserve to be shot!"...alcoholism is not a defence, by right, you should not be driving in the first place if you are drunk.