The Hanoi Police Department has suspended three traffic cops pending an investigation into a violent altercation they had with a reporter who was filming them on the street on Wednesday.
During a press conference held Thursday, Colonel Nguyen Van Vien, chief adviser of the Hanoi Police, announced the temporary suspension of the three officers involved: Captain Luu Thanh Chau, Lieutenants Nguyen Tuan Anh and Hoang Viet Cuong.
The three were ordered to prepare written accounts of their interaction with reporter Hoang Van Duc of Dai Doan Ket Newspaper.
Police say trouble began when Duc went down the Pham Hung and Xuan Thuy intersection in Cau Giay District to cover traffic at 11am on Wednesday.
When he arrived at the intersection, he observed the three officers stopping a driver for an alleged violation.
Duc approached and took out his phone to capture the interaction, so the officers called him over to a nearby shelter where he produced his reporter's card.
Lt. Anh allegedly snatched his phone with the help of two others, leading to a fight, according to the reporter's statement published by Tien Phong newspaper.
Col. Vien said the fight started over a misunderstanding.
“We'll have to await the findings of the investigation before making any concrete statements. If we find the three police officers violated proper procedures, they will be strictly punished,” he said.