Little India Riot: Police say situation did not call for use of service revolvers
Police officers who were tackling the Little India riots on Sunday night did not use their service revolvers because the situation did not call for it, said the police, responding to queries from The Straits Times on Monday.
Addressing some concerns that have been circulating online, a police spokesman said that while the rioters were using metal rods and cement blocks to smash the private bus involved in an earlier accident, at no point was there an "imminent danger" to officers on the ground that warranted deadly force, as the rioters did not attempt to attack policemen with these items.
"All injuries suffered by officers and paramedics were inflicted by projectiles, and not close-range weapons," said the spokesman, adding that firearms would not be discharged "unless absoutely necessary."
The police also addressed the question of why anti-riot equipment, such as tear gas, was not used by officers on the ground. He said that first responders to the scene were frontline officers that did not carry riot gear, and that the initial call was to assist with a traffic accident. Special Operations Command (SOC) was soon activated when the first police officers on scene assessed that the situation had deteriorated, he said.