[Letters]Why blame police for violence?

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[Letters]Why blame police for violence?

Since the candlelight rallies fed by fear of mad cow disease, it seems that more and more Koreans consider the nation’s police officers as some kind of violent gangsters who threaten the safety of the people. Even now countless police officers are sacrificing themselves for the good of society. However, many people take them for granted, and only blame police for every incident that happens. I was so angry to read an article that reported 11 policemen were beaten up by demonstrators - rioters is what I really want to call them - who condemn the government for the Yongsan incident.

Let’s be frank - who can blame police for the Yongsan tragedy? Had they not fought for the citizens’ safety, innocent people could have died from illegal bombs made by the victims. Of course, they [the protesters] have human rights. But whose rights have priority? Those of innocent pedestrians, or those of illegal demonstrators armed with weapons that could kill someone? The conflict which killed both the rioters and a policeman was caused by the demonstrators in the first place, and not by the police who did their duty. If this happened in the United States, I am sure that police would have been allowed to use guns to stop them. This is not a matter of freedom of speech. How can those with homemade bombs be considered democratic demonstrators?

It is a shame that many people are so blind that they unreasonably blame the police for everything. Police officers are at the demonstration site to protect them, and to make sure their rights are protected as long as they follow the rules. They are there sacrificing themselves for the rights guaranteed by the Constitution. I do not understand why so many Koreans are breaking the social order. When police try to restore order, they are called names like geuonchal (a combination of “dog” and “police” in Korean).

Look, degrading the authority of police is not democracy. A true democratic people will choose peaceful ways to express opinions. Beating up policemen and breaking law and order is not freedom. How can society work in anarchy, when people ignore social stability and safety?

I do not understand why injured armed rioters are “victims of the tyrannical government” while police injured doing their duty “deserve what they got.” Please respect the police, who are struggling to ensure the safety of society, and who are your sons, brothers and fathers.

I pray for the repose of the deceased from the Yongsan tragedy, both the demonstrators and the police.

Kang Yoon-seung, student

Hankuk University of Foreign Studies
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