A TransJakarta worker ended up in hospital on Thursday after an armed police officer threatened to kill him when he tried to stop the armored security van the officer was escorting from illegally using a bus lane in Central Jakarta.
The head of TransJakarta, M. Akbar, said that the employee, Rocky, tried to stop an armored vehicle belonging to Securicor, a subsidiary of Britain-based Group 4 Securicor, from using the lane as it sped by Hotel Central. Busways are by law reserved for buses and the emergency services.
“Because the Securicor vehicle is not allowed to enter the busway lane [Rocky] stopped it. And then a police officer [escorting the armored car] stepped out furiously. [The police officer] threatened to kill Rocky,” Akbar said.
The police officer then lifted his standard-issue assault rifle and fired a shot into the air next to Rocky’s left ear. The shot burst Rocky’s eardrum and he is now having problems hearing.
Rocky’s peers who were working at the bus stop with him immediately rushed him to a nearby hospital to have his hearing checked.
TransJakarta management, Akbar said, reported the incident to the Jakarta Police’s internal affairs division in the hope that police would bring the officer involved to justice.
Akbar said that authorities had since learned the officer’s identity but have so far refused to divulge his name to the press.
“When our workers try to keep the busway lane clear they are often harassed. It can start from loud honk to being shouted at by car drivers. But this incident is by far the worst because a shot was fired,” he said.
The busway lane is dedicated to buses belonging to TransJakarta and may be used by ambulances and fire trucks in emergency situations like floods or other disasters.
“But there was no emergency when the incident occurred. Securicor cars are not ambulances or fire trucks, so they are not allowed to use that lane,” Akbar said.
He added that TransJakarta would hold a meeting with Jakarta police to try to prevent similar incidents from happening again.