Concerns raised over perceptions of police

A researcher says there can be serious consequences if police are seen as violent.

FILE: Police officers move through the grounds of the Union Buildings in Pretoria to disperse the crowds during protests over proposed university tuition fee increases on 23 October 2015. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - There are new warnings that if police are perceived as being likely to execute a criminal they catch, that could lead to a new cycle of violence.

On Sunday, footage emerged of a police officer shooting dead Khulekani Mpanza, who was lying down on the ground after he had fired eight shots at the officers who were chasing him.

A second video has also emerged, but investigators have yet to verify its authenticity.

While many have condemned the officer, others have supported him, saying he prevented that person from killing someone else.

But researcher Themba Masuku says research from other countries shows that there can be serious consequences if the police are seen as violent.

"The use of violence by police officers demonstrates that a response from the suspected criminals increases, as they will use violence to defend themselves as well."

The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) says it's deeply concerned about the police's behaviour as officers should have contacted emergency services instead of shooting Mpanza.

In a separate incident, eight Daveyton police officers were convicted of the murder of Mozambican taxi driver Mido Macia.

Macia was dragged behind a police van in Daveyton on the East Rand in February 2013 and later found dead in a holding cell.

The attack was captured on cellphone footage which went viral worldwide.

WATCH: Mido Macia dragged by SAPS behind car