A traffic police officer accused of shooting at another vehicle after a hit-and-run collision avoided arrest because of his father’s high-ranking government position, a provincial police chief said on Monday.
Lim Chamnan, a deputy chief of the Kandal provincial traffic police bureau, fired at the other car from his Toyota Camry after he overtook the vehicle on National Road 1 in Phnom Penh’s Chbar Ampov district on Saturday evening, said Em Roatha, a deputy provincial police chief.
“Chamnan is a son of Mr. Pol Lim, a secretary of state at the Interior Ministry,” Mr. Roatha said on Monday. “He was reported to have shot at another car, then escaped after his car collided with the other car.”
Video footage of the incident, which was shared online by Fresh News on Sunday, shows the Camry clipping the other car as it overtakes in rainy conditions before speeding off. As the other car tries to follow, sounding its horn, the driver’s window opens and a gun appears before a shot is heard.
Provincial police chief Iev Chamroeun on Monday said he had received orders from his superiors to issue Mr. Chamnan a fine. No details of the amount were given.
“Chamnan was not arrested because he is the son of a high-ranking government official,” he said.
Contacted on Monday, Mr. Lim, a former deputy National Police chief, confirmed Lim Chamnan was his son and said that he had gone to Phnom Penh municipal police on Monday morning to explain that he had used his gun in self-defense.
“The police will not arrest my son because he did not commit a serious crime,” Mr. Lim said. He claimed that Mr. Chamnan fired on the other car because its driver was chasing him.
“The other side did not file a complaint against my son because they also recognize their fault,” he said.
Police officers are not allowed to use weapons to threaten people or “shoot without an order,” except in the case of legitimate self-defense or to protect people or property, according to National Police discipline regulations.
National Police chief Neth Savoeun said Mr. Chamnan was questioned on Monday by municipal police chief Chuon Sovan.
“We did not arrest him because the crime was not serious,” Mr. Savoeun said. “I told the Phnom Penh police chief to make them compromise as this case was an accident.”