Police indicated the incident with the alleged thief happened recently, during a crackdown on petty crime in Jayawijaya district.
The spread of the video had forced police into a “very rare” apology, Koman said, while also criticising the attempt to provide a justification.
The one minute and 20 second video shows the dark brown snake, at least two metres long, wrapped around the handcuffed suspect’s neck and waist and an officer pushing its head into the man’s face as he becomes increasingly hysterical.
Officers appear to be asking how many times he’d stolen cellphones.
Jayawijaya police chief Tonny Ananda Swadaya said in a statement the officers had been disciplined by being given ethics training and moved to other locations.
Papua province’s police spokesman said the officers involved are being questioned by an internal affairs division of the national police.
“We apologise for the incident,” Kamal told The Associated Press. “Institutionally we do not recognise such an unprofessional method of interrogation, and we guarantee that such an inhuman method will not happen again in the future.”
The events are likely to further inflame tensions in the region where an insurgency has simmered since the early 1960s when Indonesia took control of the western half of the island of New Guinea, formerly a Dutch colony.
Police and military have carried out a sweeping crackdown on independence supporters after rebel fighters in December killed 19 people working on a construction site for the trans-Papua highway.
A Polish man, Jakub Skrzypski, who is being held in a Jayawijaya prison while on trial for treason said earlier this week he’d been assaulted by police officers visiting the prison as guards looked on.