As Vietnam mulls over whether to allow police to shoot suspects for resisting arrest, a traffic cop in the central province of Thanh Hoa has been suspended for shooting two violators, wounding them both as they allegedly fled.
Information provided by the Thanh Hoa police said that Captain Tran Ngoc Hoang fired shots at Le Van Ngoc and To The Ky as he chased their motorbike on Tuesday.
Hoang attempted to pull them over for not wearing helmets and ignoring traffic lights, police said.
The men then realized that the officer was after them, but did not stop and had "provocative acts," according to police.
Hoang first fired rubber bullet warning shots, but they still did not pull over, they said.
So, the officer shot at them with his real gun, "slightly" injuring the left shoulder of Ngoc, the driver, and the left cheek of Ky, who was riding pillion, police said.
Police also released a video clip that showed part of the incident. The 30-second clip, they said, was filmed by a passerby.
| A video clip of part of the shooting case that police said to be recorded by a passer-by
In the meantime, speaking to online newspaper Dan Tri, Ngoc said he was driving the bike when heard Ky cry out that he had been shot.
When Ngoc turned his head, he saw Ky bleeding from his face, and it was then that the officer's next shot pierced Ngoc's shoulder.
After that Hoang offered to take them to a hospital, but Ngoc refused and demanded to inform police so the latter could take record of the case immediately, according to the rider.
Hoang has been suspended pending an investigation.
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 allows direct shooting only in cases in which the 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.
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