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Court rules in favor of police punishment for officer's verbal abuse

South Korean police officers (123rf)
South Korean police officers (123rf)

A South Korean court sided with the police agency's decision to punish a veteran police officer for verbally abusing a subordinate and having her run his personal errands, showed a court ruling Monday.

Judges in the Seoul Administrative Court in December dismissed an officer's suit against the nation's chief of police to nullify a reprimand warning -- the lightest punishment on a six-tier scale -- handed down by the national police agency in March 2021.

The court ruling indicated that statements from witnesses made the officer's verbal abuse more probable, and his acts could be seen as a violation of State Public Officials Act.

The officer, who was only identified by his surname Kim, had verbally abused his subordinate from September to November 2020, and on one occasion hurled insults at her for nearly an hour at the longest. Kim also had the subordinate run errands for him, such as ordering her to drive his acquaintance, and to buy cigarettes for him multiple times.

The punishment effectively bars Kim from getting promoted until retirement. Kim's lawyers filed the suit in 2021, claiming that the decision for his punishment lacks grounds, and that the evidence lacked admissibility and had been tampered with.

Kim, who served in Korea's law enforcement for over two decades, has been working at the Korean National Police University since August 2020.

Kim appealed in December.



By Son Ji-hyoung (consnow@heraldcorp.com)
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