Top cop should resignAn investigation by prosecutors has confirmed that the central force of police officers prostrated itself to the comprehensive lobbying of Hanwha Group and attempted to conceal the revenge bar brawl of Hanwha Chairman Kim Seung-youn.
The investigation turned out as expected, and it is utterly shameful. The honor of the police was completely shattered. How will the police face the public from now on?
The police represent the public power that secures law and order, and it should not collapse like this. Police Commissioner General Lee Taek-soon must resign and accept all responsibility. And the police force should be reborn as a transparent and just force.
The bar brawl of Hanwha Chairman Kim was publicized by the press more than a month after it happened because the police thoroughly hid the fact.
Lee argued that through the media he became aware of the assaults. Lee also denied that he played golf with an advisor at Hanwha Securities Co., and that he talked with the advisor on the phone several times after the assaults. But that all turned out to be lies.
Prosecutors cleared Lee on the ground that there is no evidence he received any requests from Hanwha to influence the investigation. Yet the report is hard to believe because Lee’s behavior is full of suspicion. Lee lied to the parliamentary committee and during the police investigation of the case as well. This is serious perjury, and should be punished.
Within the police force, distrust of Lee is brimming. Internal opinion demanding Lee’s resignation has been equally strong for this reason ― while other heads of the police force have been held accountable, the police commissioner general himself has been dropped from the penalty. Will he be able to exercise command of the police under such circumstances?
The time before the presidential election requires an especially fair and competent public force. But concerns are mounting whether the police commissioner general, who lost trust both of the public and of the force, would be able to properly steer the police. Since his inauguration there has been controversy.
Public trust and authority have been battered due to inappropriate response to frequent illegal demonstrations, and Lee has also caused concern with remarks that sound as if he is protecting the corruption of the police. Instead of unblushing apologies to the public, he should resign for the sake of the police and society.