Clip shows Indonesian police chief reminding officers about discipline, not 'shutting down murder case'

An old clip of Indonesian police chief Listyo Sigit Prabowo talking about discipline within the force has resurfaced in posts that falsely claimed it showed him shutting down an investigation into the murders of two teenagers in Cirebon in August 2016. The posts were shared after a horror film inspired by the crime was released and as police arrested another suspect. But the clip, viewed millions of times, is from October 2021 and shows a speech where the police chief did not mention the case.

"In the end, Vina's case will be closed soon," read the Indonesian-language caption of a TikTok video posted on May 31, 2024.

Text overlaid on the video also referred to the murders of 16-year-olds Vina Dewi Arsita and Muhammad Rizky in West Java's Cirebon in August 2016, reading "Shutting down the case of Vina Cirebon because this is about the organisation, not for netizens, etc (archived link).

The clip, which was viewed more than three million times, shows national police chief Listyo Sigit Prabowo speaking into a microphone.

He says: "Because this is for the sake of the organisation. And I am sorry, if you are not able to do so. If you are not able to 'clean the tail', I would 'cut the head'. Right?"

Screenshot of the false TikTok post, captured on June 3, 2024

The same video was shared alongside similar claims on short video platform SnackVideo here, here, and here, where it was viewed more than 340,000 times in total.

It surfaced amid renewed interest in the nearly eight-year-old case after a horror movie inspired by the murders was released in cinemas in early May 2024 (archived link).

On May 26, The Jakarta Globe newspaper reported that police had arrested another suspect in the case (archived link). It said eight others had already been convicted, with seven receiving sentences of life imprisonment.

Local media also reported there had been criticism of the police's handling of the case, and the force's dismissal of speculation that an officer's son was involved (archived links here and here).

The police chief, however, was not talking about the murders in the clip circulating online.

Closing ceremony speech

A keyword search on Google led to a video of Listyo's full speech, which was streamed on a YouTube channel managed by School for Staff and Leadership of the Police Education and Training Institute on October 27, 2021 (archived link).

The video's caption reads, "Closing ceremony for the 30th Staff and High Rank Officers School, 61st Staff and Middle Rank Officers School, and 66th Staff and Low Rank Officers School Year 2021".

The clip used in the false posts corresponds to a 20-second section beginning at the YouTube video's 2:14:45 mark.

Below is a screenshot comparison between the clip used in the false posts (left) and the YouTube video (right):

Screenshot comparison between the clip used in the false posts (left) and the YouTube video (right)

Listyo did not mention the 2016 murder case in his speech.

In the section used by the false posts, he was reminding senior officers of their duty to maintain discipline among their ranks.

Prior to the section used in the false posts, he says: "Regarding police officers who commit violations and have an impact on the organisation, don't hesitate to take action."

Local media outlets Kompas TV and also reported on Listyo's warning (archived links here and here).

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