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Shooting of Norizan Salleh: No charges in police shooting

March 9, 2010
4 Mar 10 : 1.40PM

By Ding Jo-Ann The Nut Graph

PETALING JAYA, 4 Mar 2010:  No charges will be brought against police who were involved in shooting single mother Norizan Salleh, but investigations may be conducted into reports that police stepped on her after she was shot.

“Her allegations of being stepped on and punched after the shooting may have to be looked into to see whether there was any abuse [of power],” Kuala Lumpur CID chief Datuk Ku Chin Wah said. “But as far as the shooting was concerned, that was rightful.”

(Pic by hisks / Ku was referring to the 30 Oct 2009 incident in Kuala Lumpur, where Norizan sustained a bullet wound close to her heart after being shot at five times.

“We have investigated this case thoroughly and submitted the papers to the Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP). He is satisfied the police acted within the provisions of section 100 of the Penal Code, [which allows for self-defence under certain circumstances].

“He does not propose to charge or take any departmental action against any of the police involved,” Ku told The Nut Graph.

Written guidelines

In an e-mail and phone interview, Ku said that in the Norizan incident, police were acting within the ambit of the police’s written guidelines on the use of firearms.

“Deriving from the legal provision [in the Penal Code], Inspector-General Standing Order D222 lays out further guidelines,” Ku explained.

“Police may discharge their firearms when they believe that their lives or the lives of those in their protection are in danger. The key words in the order are ‘reasonableness’ and ‘good faith’. Also, the right to self-defence ceases when there is no more threat to their lives and the lives of others.”

Norizan Referring to Norizan’s case, Ku said, “We have the luxury of time and hindsight, but our [police] do not have that luxury. They had to decide in a split second what to do.”

Ku added that the car Norizan was in had tried to ram the police when they were pursuing it. He also said the car was found to have been reported stolen, contained stolen items and weapons such as machetes, and that the two men in the car later tested positive for drugs.

Ku said any discharge of firearms triggers a formal investigation which is forwarded to the DPP for consideration.

Shot, then kicked

In an interview in Kuala Lumpur on 2 March 2010, Norizan said she was sitting in the backseat of a car on her way home to Segambut when a police patrol vehicle drew up alongside and fired shots at them.

“When the car stopped, I tried to ask for help because I had been shot, but the police kicked me. When I got out, I was stepped on by the police. I kept saying, ‘Encik, Encik, saya kena tembak.’ When the police realised I had actually been shot, then only they brought me to the hospital,” she said.

Norizan added that the car driver’s thigh was grazed whereas the other two occupants were not injured.

The gunshot wounds led to part of her lung being removed and shattered some bones in her right wrist, which is still in a cast. In addition, Norizan said two ribs were broken by the police stepping on her.

Norizan said she has no criminal record, has not been charged for any crime, and has not done anything wrong. “I would like legal action to be taken against those who have abused their power. I would also like compensation for my injuries,” she said.

Norizan has lodged a police report on the incident and also raised the matter with Suhakam.

Minister’s response

Hishammuddin (File pic) Norizan also attempted to submit a memorandum of complaint to Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein on 25 Feb 2010. The minister, however, was not present to receive it.

When asked on 2 Mar 2010 about the shooting by The Nut Graph at a ministry event in Kota Damansara, Hishammuddin said he was unaware that Norizan had gone to the ministry on 25 Feb to deliver the memorandum.

On whether any investigation was being carried out to ascertain why Norizan was shot, Hishammuddin replied: “I don’t have the details.”

The Nut Graph has also made an official request to the ministry for a copy of the guidelines on discharge of firearms but has not received a response to date.

Suhakam commissioner Datuk N Sivasubramaniam told The Nut Graph that the national human rights commission would also be requesting for the guidelines in their meeting with the police about Norizan’s case.

However, Ku said the guidelines are an “internal, restricted administrative document not meant to be circulated in public”.

When asked about the guidelines at the ministry event, Hishammuddin said the issue wasn’t about guidelines. “It’s about taking seriously issues that have been directly brought to our attention.”

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