Exclusive report for The Neo Guardian.
Massed protests erupted this afternoon along the Japanese Territories on Novvy Bangkok this evening, as O-12 officers were accused of shocking brutality. In scenes reminiscent of the recent Uprising, angry demonstrations gathered outside the Commissioner’s office following an earlier ‘botched’ narcotics arrest.
A botched O-12 drugs seizure has been condemned by civic authorities in the JSA territorial strip, as bodies piled up in the streets. Local drug lord Armitage, head of a notorious Daim smuggling ring, and at least two other accomplices, were gunned down in circumstances described by Commissioner Rushforth as "unclear".
Eye witnesses reported "shocking brutality" as 0-12 officers appeared to ignore usual standard operating procedure to use adhesive munitions, with deadly force used to unnerving effect. When questioned on the operation, Commissioner Rushforth initially refused to comment on "operational details", stating that he would "neither confirm nor deny the deployment of 'strategic' assets", however when confronted with video evidence of a Zeta Battle TAG, he angrily defended the department's "right to consider appropriate tactical responses", and questioned the veracity of the "purported" images. In a terse second statement released an hour after the press conference, Commissioner Rushforth emphasised recent drug enforcement efforts, including "placing an unprecedented amount of Daim on the table". Local community leaders reacted with dismay, however, drawing damning comparisons between the increasingly heavy-handed O-12 officers and the despised Yu Jing Imperial security forces.
In a further deterioration of Human Sphere relations, the Haqqislam High Command on Novvy Bangkok issued a fierce criticism of O-12 operations, singling this incident for particular criticism. In an unprecedented move, High Command released video footage of Haqqislam security forces coming under fire from O-12 officers. A spokesperson said: "This recent debacle suggests a worrying lack of control within the command structures of the Commission. What should have been a successful co-operative effort degenerated quickly into a firefight, one with tragic consequences for the hard-pressed local population.
"Our recent operation started well, with our troops successfully identifying three targets, one of whom (Armitage) was a person of significant interest to local Sultanate narcotic enquiries. One of our Djanbazan officers attempted to apprehend one of the other suspects, but was fired at in return. Our standard operating protocols dictate that armed suspects should be subdued with appropriate force, but our officer was stunned in the initial exchanges."
"What happened next was inexcusable. The local O-12 commander appears to have authorised the deployment of a Zeta Battle TAG, which itself is an incomprehensible decision for a routine police operation, but with devastating consequences. In what can only be described as a rampage, the Zeta targeted our officers as they performed their duties. Our casualties from this initial burst include one Kaplan and two Druze contractors, A team of Djanbazan enforcement officers, as well as an innocent bystander."
The spokesperson did not respond to questions raised that Haqqislam forces initiated fire on O-12 officers, targeting Sirius bots and a sniper, which were highlighted by the Commission.
In a parallel development, Commissioner Rushforth refused to confirm whether noted Haqqislamite agent Leila Sherif was being held in custody, an allegation levied by the Haqqislam High Command following the incident. Their spokesperson warned of dire consequences if the Commission did not release her immediately, and called into question "the previously assumed impartiality of the O-12". The spokesperson also noted recent Aleph interest in Armitage's Daim-smuggling ring, and the opaque and unilateral nature of their investigations.
Commissioner Rushforth's office was contacted for further comment, but without reply.