Law-breaking policemen chip away at public trust

By Kim Yon-se
  • Published : Jul 8, 2014 - 21:46
  • Updated : Jul 8, 2014 - 21:46
Multiple faults and irregularities among policemen have occurred recently in Seoul, which could amplify the public’s distrust of law enforcement.

A police division was found to have concealed an accidental shooting by a drafted policeman, which occurred in downtown Seoul four months ago. He was doing guard duty at the Government Complex.

The accident was made public after a whistleblower at the National Police Agency reported the incident to an internal inspection bureau about 10 days after it took place. The drafted officer’s supervisors had allegedly tried to cover up the incident.

The officer accidentally misfired his K2 rifle in front of the Seoul Government Complex at around 9:15 p.m. on March 6. The building is located near Gyeongbokgung Palace and the U.S. Embassy.

Fortunately the gun was pointed upwards.

However, the policeman’s senior officers then reportedly chose not to inform the Seoul District Police Agency or the National Police Agency of the accident in an attempt to cover it up.

After an internal inspection, four officials and the conscripted policeman were reprimanded.

There have also been police officers involved in traffic accidents.

A policeman working at the Seodaemun district police station was recently captured for causing a motorcycle crash while driving drunk. He had escaped after hitting a civilian’s motorcycle in late June.

A police officer working for the Dongjak district police station hit a passenger vehicle while drunk driving last month.

Both of them face having their drivers’ licenses revoked as their blood alcohol concentration ratios were at 0.1 percent or above.

Earlier this month, a policeman from the Hyehwa district police station was booked for assaulting a passerby in his 30s on the street.

The police agency has pledged to take stern punitive actions against any officials engaging in misconduct.

By Kim Yon-se (