HCMC cops accused of fatally beating traffic violator

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The family of a 20-year-old boy in Ho Chi Minh City has accused a group of traffic police officers of causing his death, Nguoi Lao Dong newspaper reported.

According to the family, at around 3 a.m. on Sunday, Thao and his friends were on their way home from a birthday party.

They were riding motorbikes without helmets, as they had been stolen earlier that evening. When they arrived at Cay Go junction in District 11, they were detected and chased by several traffic police officers on motorbikes.

The family said that Thao fell off his motorbike in the process and afterward an officer beat him with a baton.

Nguyen Tan Thanh, a man who identified himself as a witness, said the officer beat Thao until he lost consciousness.

According to Thanh, after the officers left, passersby rushed Thao to Cho Ray Hospital.

"Some people and I asked the traffic cops what their names were and which traffic police team they belonged to but they did not answer," he said.

Thao died at the hospital on Tuesday due to multiple injuries.

Meanwhile, Lieutenant-Colonel Ho Van Hong, chief of Phu Lam Traffic Police Division, told Nguoi Lao Dong he was informed of a road accident around 3 a.m. on Sunday at the Cay Go junction.

"My subordinates reported that Luu Van Thao was driving a motorbike when he fell after taking a bend too fast, which led to him being seriously injured," Hong said.

Hong added that it was wrong for traffic police officers to physically beat traffic violators or to cause any danger to them.

"We will order officers on duty early Sunday at the Cay Go conjunction to report on the case.

"We will also investigate to clarify who was at fault and strictly punish them."

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