A criminologist has called for the police to review their training procedures on the use of firearms by the force in the country.
Universiti Sains Malaysia’s Assoc Prof Datuk Dr P. Sundramoorthy said the one principle of policing that must be understood is “your actions must not endanger you and others in the immediate vicinity.”
“When a policeman is forced to use deadly force, in this case a firearm, he or she must safeguard the well-being of those nearby,” said Sundramoorthy.
“If it was a case of suspicious persons in a car trying to escape in a dangerous manner, an officer should not aggravate the situation.”
He was responding to a widely shared video of a driver, who was trying to evade two policemen, ramming his car into other vehicles at a traffic light junction in Sungai Buloh. The incident took place at about 1pm on Friday.
The video showed the policemen approaching a Proton Waja with the driver reversing the car into another vehicle before squeezing the car between a lorry and Perodua Myvi to escape.
One of the policemen fired several shots at the tyres of the Waja to no avail.
The driver and his accomplice, believe to be involved in drugs, were later arrested. The duo have been remanded until Tuesday.
“What if the bullet hit the rim and it ricocheted? There were people nearby (in their cars) and it could hit them,” said Sundramoorthy.
“If there is an imminent danger to others whereby the suspects have firearms and are a threat to others in the area, then the cops must act accordingly.”
Sundramoorthy called for an immediate investigation into the incident and added that a review in the training procedures when dealing with such episodes was timely.
“The review should be for all policemen, not just the specialised units,” he added.
A similar incident took place on July 20, 2020 in Kuala Lumpur when a man managed to escape despite police trying to shoot his car tyres.
In another incident in Kuala Lumpur last December, a driver sped away towards Jalan Tun Razak after he was flagged down by cops before being caught in a traffic jam.
When a policeman approached the vehicle, the driver tried to ram into the cop. The policeman fired a shot that hit the rear tyre of the pick-up truck.
The suspect drove away and crashed into several vehicles before almost hitting a traffic policeman at Jalan Raja Chulan.
The driver and a woman passenger were eventually arrested in Bukit Bintang.