The cop was wrong!

Letters to the Editor

The cop was wrong!

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

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Dear Editor,

I am surprised that many people have seemingly justified the actions of the pepper-spraying cop during a traffic violation stop as circulated on social media.

The senior ex-cop involved did not have his driver's licence and did not appear agitated, rude or threatening during the incident which was caught on video and shared online.

He was ordered to exit the vehicle and at one point opened the car door to do so, but retreated perhaps as an after-thought out of fear.

As a senior citizen, did anyone (including the cop) think that he could've had a disability or mobility issues? I did not hear him tell anyone that he was a retired deputy superintendent and deserved preferential treatment, which some accused him of. It was after another senior cop appeared on the scene and they recognised each other that it became apparent.

In this instant, there was no justification for use of excessive force; the cop could've assessed the risks before using the pepper spray.

What if, instead of pepper-spraying, the cop had shot the driver, would that make it right, even if he did not obey the cop to exit the vehicle?

The reality is this senior citizen could've been anyone's father, uncle, or senior relative, and I am sure most would not approve if that were the case!

Cops should be better trained to assess risks, threats, and deal with situations accordingly.

I was further shocked by the response of Minister of National Security Horace Chang.

This incident was not right on many levels; it was a human rights violation.

The man could've been ticketed for the offence, although we all know that drivers are allowed a couple days to provide documents to the police station if they fail to present it on the spot. If the cop felt threatened, he could've arrested the driver who was travelling with his son. It is hoped that a full investigation will lead to some answers including a reprimand of the cop for using excessive force.

P Chin

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