Transit police officers in the México state municipality of Coalcalco were caught on camera in what would appear to be an attempt to extort a motorist.
According to witnesses, officers stopped a car, presumably for having committed an infraction. After a routine inspection, the officers demanded 500 pesos (US $25) to let the driver go without a ticket, and even escorted the victim to a nearby ATM to withdraw the money.
The victim reported that the officers initially just asked to check her license. When they couldn’t find a legitimate reason to give a ticket, they made one up, saying that her window shades were illegal, she said.
But the attempted extortion was interrupted by good samaritans passing by. Outraged witnesses confronted the officers and began to record the incident on cell phones.
“You already brought her to the ATM, you thief … stop there, son!” exclaimed one driver, who got out of his car and tried to block the officers from fleeing. “Look at them, look at them! Damned thief,” he continued, adding a string of creative expletives.
An angry witness expresses his outrage against corrupt cops.
— Milenio Edomex (@milenio_edomex) January 7, 2022
Facing an angry public, the officers gave up on their attempt to extract a bribe. One got out of the passenger seat and tried to direct traffic so the patrol car could leave the area. Another woman who saw what was happening stood in front of the car and tried to block it from leaving, but after various maneuvers the officers managed to drive away in the wrong direction, escaping into oncoming traffic.
Local authorities announced that an investigation has been opened into the incident.
“We’re following up with the facts, along with Mayor David Sánchez, to investigate and sanction whoever is responsible for this abuse of authority,” promised local councilor Benjamín Alfaro.
With reports from Milenio