A police officer in the north-central province of Thanh Hoa has been transferred to another post after shooting two traffic violators with rubber bullets and injuring them in July.
The province police announced on Tuesday that Captain Tran Ngoc Hoang of the Thanh Hoa Town’s traffic police division was also fined for “directly violating others’ health while fulfilling a mission.”
Previously the officer was suspended for 30 days for an investigation into his shooting of Le Van Ngoc, 36, and To The Ky, 43.
According to police conclusions, on July 16, while driving his motorcycle, Hoang caught Ngoc and Ky traveling on a motorbike without helmets and ignoring traffic lights at a crossroad.
The officer chased after them in an attempt to pull them over.
However, they refused to follow Hoang’s order, and acted “provocatively,” police said.
Hoang then fired warning shots with his gun using rubber bullets, but since the violators still tried to flee, he shot at them.
Ngoc, who was the driver, had his left shoulder injured, while his friend, who was riding pillion, sustained an injury to his left cheek, according to police.
One day after the shooting, police released a video clip which showed part of the incident. The clip was filmed by a passerby with a mobile phone.
Thanh Hoa police said they also fined Ky and Ngoc for their traffic violations.
In March, the Ministry of Public Security proposed a law allowing officials, including police, to shoot directly at “suspects who show signs of resistance.”
The proposal came in response to an increase in suspects defying officials on duty, especially those pulled over for traffic violations.
However, the proposal has raised concerns among legal experts who say that the new law will lead to abuses of power.
Vietnam’s current law only allows the police to shoot directly in cases in which a suspect is directly threatening the lives of officers or other people with force or weapons including explosives, those threatening to damage buildings connected to national security, and those caught attempting to help inmates escape from prison.