Shoot first, tell stories later

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Thanh Nien received a lot of public responses to an incident in Thai Nguyen Province where plainclothes traffic cops shot and injured a student on a motorbike early this month.

I can't believe that the police officer fired into the air, but it accidently hit her thigh. It's even more irresponsible for the police to say later that the gun went off by accident. If this is true, doesn't it mean that the officer hadn't received proper training in using firearms? Agencies need to make the case clear. No covering up.

It has to be illegal for plainclothes traffic officers to stop vehicles. People will think some miscreants are disguising themselves as cops with bad intentions. It was also absolutely illegal for officer Hoang to shoot Tra, as the violators had stopped and did not make any move that needed him to open fire. He has clearly exceeded his authority in this case.

Tra and her boyfriend violated laws by not wearing helmets while riding on motorbikes, but they were right to not stop their vehicle when asked by plainclothes officers. There is no regulation saying that people have to follow the order of plainclothes officers who don't show any identification documents.

The couple obviously didn't commit any serious crime and were not causing any harm to society and the community, so there was no need to use guns to control them. Instead of firing guns, the officers should have found another way to handle the situation.

The shooting was obviously an abuse of power that showed disregard for others' lives, as also a crime of "deliberately injuring others." Agencies should reconsider regulations allowing plainclothes traffic officers to deal with violations?

Nguyen Thanh Tuan
(Ward 12, District 5, Ho Chi Minh City)

Once in every while we are coming across reports about some traffic officers who've used their support devices like clubs and guns when it was unnecessary to do so, with bad consequences. Hoang's shooting exceeded the limits of (the rule) allowing the use of weapons while on duty. After the incident, the Ministry of Public Security should re-consider regulations allowing officers to use weapons and confine it to specific situations so as to prevent the abuse of power.

Duong Van Ngoc
(Long Dien Ward, the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau)

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