Friday, May 7, 2010

i don't get it

Okay, seriously...I don't get this.

Why is everybody so hung up about the police shooting dead a kid?

Is it because he looks cute and innocent in his photo? Or is it because he is 14 (would it be okay if, under the same circumstances, they shot dead a 35 year old)? And perhaps, most importantly, is it because everybody hates the cops anyway and this is a convenient excuse to spew more hatred on them?

Doesn't Osama bin Laden look absolutely adorable in this picture?

Me, I love the cops. When it mattered, they have always done their job. When I tried to bribe a cop yearsss ago, I got busted. The 3 times I have been stopped by the traffic police, not a single one even tried asking for the shortcut route out. They all dispatched the tickets and got on with life. And when I did call the cops to my house a couple of years back, it took them THREE minutes to get to my place.

So, yes. I like them, I think they are genuinely trying to do their job to their best ability. Which is why I am extremely miffed that people are slinging mud at them when it isn't their fault.

Let's put everything aside and look at the facts. Now "facts" is all about who you listen to, but hey, I think the dead kid's friend's version is a pretty good - because if he was lying, his lies certainly wouldn't exonerate the cops, would it?

"The police pursued us until the Caltex petrol station and started firing," Azamuddin said.

The teenager added that they managed to shoot the tyres of the car at the corner of Jalan Tarian and Jalan Wau, some 500 metres from the deceased's home, causing the vehicle to swerve uncontrollably.

One of the bullets fired hit the 14-year-old driver's head.

"His body fell onto my lap but his foot was still on the accelerator so the car continued to move and we crashed into a wall," he said, causing police to continue shooting.


Now, we do know this - this was a 14 year old kid who took his sister's car without her permission, drove it without a license, got into an accident and didn't stop (that's hit-and-run for you, is it only a crime is rempits do it?). Then they ran a police roadblock because he "wanted to go home". When the police were giving chase, they still didn't stop. When the police opened fire on their car, taking out their tyres, THEY STILL DIDN'T STOP!

Azamuddin Omar, 15, accompanied by his lawyers N Surendran and Latheefa Koya, was quizzed for about 30 minutes this evening.

Speaking to reporters later, Surendran said most of the questions posed by the police were repeats of what had been asked previously.

There were, however, several “interesting” new questions posed.

Among such questions, said Surendran, was: “Was the last shot fired before, or after the crash?”

Commenting on this, Surendran said, “The witnessed confirmed that the last shot was fired when the car was still moving, which contradicts the police version of events.


Only when the tyres popped and the car started swerving, and one of the bullets hit him, that is when they crashed the car. And as confirmed by the witness, the last shot was fired when the car was still moving (why the police would want to say otherwise, I have no idea).

I think what happened was an accidental killing, and the policeman panicked and came up with the story of the parang, which they shouldn't have. But why are we blaming the police for opening fire? They did their job! Someone runs a roadblock at 2 am, doesn't stop when you chase, and still doesn't stop when you take out the tyres - obviously it's all very suspicious to the police!

Now, on a separate note, could the police have handled it better? Damn straight!

The story with the parang is just bloody ridiculous, and certainly the IGP shouldn't be throwing his toys out of the pram. Yes, I can understand and in fact, I know how it feels to be part of an organisation where you are contributing something positively, but because of the ignorance of the idiotic 'rakyat', you get a shit storm rained down on you so hard, it just saps your motivation to get your job done. Yes, I imagine that morale within the police force must be at an all-time low - I would be pissed too, if my colleague DID HIS JOB and then because of that the whole country paints the entire organisation in bad light!

That said, as the head honcho of that organisation, it is the duty of the IGP to tell the people what happened and to raise the morale of his staff. Certainly, he shouldn't be going around threatening to pull his men off the streets. That is no way for a leader to behave.

So, yes - the police deserve critisism, not for the shooting, but for the way they handled the aftermath.


Anonymous said...

Just because it didn't happen to you doesn't mean the cops are good guys. I bet each and every one of your readers have an unpleasant experience with the cops and they'd be glad to share it with you. I'm seriously surprised you used the word love to describe how you feel towards the cops of Malaysia. The cops in Malaysia are so underpaid that at least 8 out of 10 of them have to rely on bribes to feed their families. It may not be their fault that their wages are so low but they can certainly do something about it. If one cop can't make a difference, I'm sure a petition from say 10000 cops would definitely draw enough attention.

vincent said...

Obviously not all are good guys. Obviously there are real scoundrels out there.

But I think they do try. And I think it's actually a bad thing how they are treated in this country.

In fact, the general perception is that only unskilled and unqualified SPM holders join the police force. It is not a profession that a kid growing up in the city aspires to be. And until that changes, you can forget about high quality.

But I am digressing - I think my point on how they aren't exactly to blame for the death of that kid is still valid.

Anonymous said...

I get where you're coming from. If the boy were to knock and kill somebody, there wouldn't be so much sympathy for him and the cops wouldn't be demonised for it. What I failed to understand was the manner in which the policeman tried to stop the car. Yes, he should try to shoot the tyres but what about trying something else such as using spikes to immobilise the vehicle. To me, shooting the driver is the last resort. As stated in an article in The Star today after yet another shooting, ACP Osman said the cop should not have opened fire because there was no imminent danger to their lives. The most recent case was even worse on the cop's part as he shot the Rempit even though he meant it as a 'warning shot'. Don't you fire warning shots in the air? All these articles make you doubt how much training a cop gets before he's put out in the field and is asked to make decisions on whether you live or die.

Anonymous said...

“It wasn’t a high speed chase. The boy’s car seemed to be cruising at maybe 60kph and the police car was right behind his, firing at the car,” says a waiter at one of the restaurants who witnessed the incident.

michaelooi said...

If the kids play the GTA series, they would have known that it is a BAD IDEA to not stop when you're supposed to.

ShaolinTiger said...

I don't think the outcry is so much about the shooting of the kid, but the way in which it has been handled.

Yah the kid got shot, shit happens, it was clearly an accident/misjudgement.

Yah they shouldn't have opened fire, but for some reason they did.

That's not the main issue, the main issue is how the IGP/Policy makers dealt with the aftermath.

That's the part that is truly offensive.

vincent said...

anon: Spikes to immobilise the vehicle? Hehe, too much tv, mate. If shooting at the tyres doesn't stop the car, spikes will?

michael: Hahah, GTA actually GTA trains you to drive as fast as you can away from the crime scene and run away from cops. Also, if you get to your safehouse, the police can't stop you. Which is exactly what he tried to do....hahaha

ST: Agreed, the IGP needs to go for PR lessons instead of throwing his toys out of the pram.

lishun said...

Anonymous said...

delete this post my friend. Please be more sensitive.

vincent said...


Sensitive to what?

Yes, it's all very sad that a kid died. But let's call a spade a spade, shall we?