KOTA KINABALU: A video making the rounds on social media of Road Transport Department (JPJ) officers allegedly assaulting a motorcyclist took place in Sabah’s Lahad Datu district, police confirmed today.
Lahad Datu police chief Nasri Mansor said the motorcyclist, 20, a suspected illegal immigrant, was in their custody after being handed over by the JPJ.
He said police would carry out a thorough probe, including on the two JPJ staff members.
Based on initial investigations, he said the incident took place during a roadblock by JPJ officers at Km23 Jalan Lahad Datu-Sandakan at 10.30am yesterday.
The motorcyclist arrived at the roadblock and was told shortly after by the officers to go to the side for further inspection.
“Instead of doing that, the motorcyclist turned back, with the intention of escaping.
“He tried to barge into the JPJ officers who were managing the traffic there.
“However, he failed after his wheel brushed against the front of the JPJ vehicle, causing the motorcyclist to lose control. He ended up in a ditch by the roadside,” Nasri told reporters yesterday.
Earlier today, the JPJ said it would carry out an investigation into the viral video showing its officers assaulting a motorcyclist.
In a statement, it said disciplinary action, including termination, could be taken against the officers if they were found to have flouted the law.
The 45-second video, recorded by another motorist, showed the two officers trying to apprehend the motorcyclist who had crashed into a roadside ditch.
An officer is seen assaulting the motorcyclist, throwing punches and kicking the man in the crotch, causing him to drop to his knees.
The motorcyclist was then seen removing his helmet in a sign of defeat. The video was then cut off.
Nasri said despite being in the ditch, the motorcyclist refused to stop and became more aggressive to evade arrest. Both officers jumped into the ditch and a struggle ensued in their effort to subdue the man.
“In the process of arresting the suspect, the JPJ officers had to resort to force because he was resisting arrest. After a check, they found the man did not have a motorcycle licence or any valid identification document.”