MAKASSAR, KOMPAS.com – The Indonesian National Police’s Regional Headquarters in the province of South Sulawesi have taken 16 policemen into custody for their complicity in the shooting of three men in the provincial capital Makassar on Sunday, August 30.
The incident left one man dead and the two others wounded.
“The Propam [Police Internal Affairs] took the policemen into custody for questioning. We also confiscated their firearms,” said South Sulawesi Police spokesman Police Chief Commissioner Ibrahim Tompo on September 2.
“They include an Police Brigadier US, the policeman who fired the shots. He claimed to shoot the men out of self-defense, after the mob did not heed his warning shots.”
Ibrahim added that the police are still going over the evidence. “We will question the men who were wounded once they are discharged from the hospital. We also secured CCTV footage of the incident and gathered evidence, such as stones and logs used in the fight.”
The National Police Commission or Kompolnas urged the police to take firm action against their men if it is proven they committed any wrongdoing.
“If the men are proven to have used [excessive force], then they should be legally processed,” Kompolnas spokesperson Poengky Indarti told Kompas.com.
Poengky urged the police to improve relations with civilians after accounts that the officers drew their weapons when locals asked for their identification.
In contrast, the police’s official version maintained that locals attacked the detectives and accused them of being thieves even after the officers showed their IDs.