Youth forcefully questioned over shooting of police officer

On 10 October, a 14-year-old boy was taken from his house to the Din Daeng Police Station and pressured to confess that he shot a crowd control police officer in the head on 6 October, according to Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR).

Police officers search a perimeter in the Din Daeng Flat.

The youth was taken to the station around noon. When a lawyer arrived to provide assistance, he had already been moved from the station without charges being filed. Police took the youth and a relative back home without giving them a chance to talk to the lawyer.

The relative was unwilling to provide the lawyer with information, saying that the police had forbidden it. 

The police have made increasing use of irregular tactics in dealing with the Din Daeng protests. Protesters have been clashing with police there since August in a bid to march to Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha’s house. Residents of the densely populated community have been suffering collateral damage from the clashes and dispersions.

On 6 October, Pol L/Cpl Dejwit Lettenson, a unit commander of the crowd control police was shot in the head by an unknown type of firearm during a protest dispersion. The bullet penetrated his helmet, causing a serious injury.

On 7 October, Pol Maj Gen Jirasan Kaewsaeng-ek, deputy commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Bureau (MPB) announced that the police had information about the suspect. He asserted that the gunman had the intention to kill, having shot from a high location. The type of bullet fired was still under investigation, according to the Bangkok Post.

The shooting was followed by large-scale arrests in the Din Daeng area. On 7 October, the police rounded up 70 people, including 5 underage youths. Some were found to have explosive devices. Some of the individuals detained at Din Daeng Police Station were initially barred from meeting with lawyers.

On 7 October, the Facebook page “Gun tape, camouflage, trekking kits” cited a now-deleted post on a Black Hood Tactical page, stating that the bullet which hit Pol L/Cpl Dejwit is an “R.I.P.” produced by the US-based G2 Research Company. The bullet leaves an eight-point mark when it hits the target and flattens out to cause a serious wound. The post also stated that the bullet is expensive.

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