The special Panel set up by the Ministry of home Affairs to investigate the death of Aminulrasyid Amzah (15), has concluded that the investigation done by the police was "fair and transparent". Whatever that means is up to the Ministry to interpret but pressure to set up a Royal Comission to reinvestige the matter seems to to be building up.
One should not jump to any conclusion, especially based on emotions since the boy victim was unarmed and was not shooting at the police to justify that they were acting in self-defence. The police in a car chase must certainly be prepared for any eventuality and being slow on your gun may cost you your life. People who try to get away after the police started to trail them, are usually badhats and could very well be armed. Who would expect a 15 year old to try and out -maneuver the police?
We'll let the Ministry of Home Affairs and the government decide on the matter after acquiring all the relevant information, especially from the aggrieved party, and not just the police. What must be debated early and and a guideline given to the police is: when can they start to actually shoot when chasing any suspect? Is it after they are fired at, after a colleague has been attack or killed, or whenever the suspect's action sends a danger signal to them. Could they shoot at a suspect trying to run away after being flagged down to stop at a road block?
I suppose such decisions must be based on the crime situation in the country. If too many police personnel are getting killed in trying to apprehend a suspect without the threat of a gun, then there's reason to shoot whenever they see a danger sign. Shoot first and ask questions later. But if the crime situation and the death statistics of police personnel are not that bad, shooting should be allowed only when you see a criminal suspect waving a gun and about to use it.
Having said that what is the death statistics among police officers in Malaysia and how good or bad are they as compared to the police in other countries? I read somewhere that there were about 13 deaths this year (up to May) while there were 81 deaths in 1998 and 63 in 1999. That's pretty high compared to the Police in US which registered 61 deaths in 1998 and only 42 in 1999. UK registered only 14 deaths in 2002 while Mexico registered some 240 deaths in 2007. I could not find any statistics with regard to the Thai Police nor is there an up-to-date statistics on this issue. Statistics on the number of police officers injured are more difficult to find.
I think such statistics are very important to give the police some guidance on when they had to be trigger happy and when to draw out their guns only in the face of obvious danger. Only with such statistics can we evaluate the fairness of shooting at a suspect or suspects trying to run away in a car or a motorcycle after being ordered to stop. Otherwise you just have to follow the suspect and call on other units to block his path. With the advancement in radio technology, I don't think it's difficult for any patrol car chasing a suspect to summon help from another unit to cut him off. There is, of course, no justification at all to shoot at a suspect trying to run away if there's no shooting on his part.