Senior cop turns on Seoul police chief
“The burden of responsibility is heavy on the police officers who tortured [suspects] at Yangcheon police precinct,” said Chae Soo-chang, senior superintendent of the Seoul Gangbuk police precinct, referring to recent torture allegations. “But much of the blame also lies in the hands of the commanding officers at the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency. Commissioner Cho Hyun-oh should take responsibility and resign.”
Chae argued at a press conference late yesterday at his precinct that the police currently assigns positions and gives promotions based on a points system, and “not how the police officers respect the law and human rights.”
The senior superintendent warned that the Yangcheon torture as well as the case in which a child rape victim was taken to a crime scene instead of a hospital despite profuse bleeding will “repeat themselves if a new administration does not come in and change the nature of this organization.”
“I too will reflect on my mistakes and resign with Cho,” Chae said.
In response, Cho called an emergency meeting, lacerated the superintendent and fired him. “This act of cutting down the morale of my men is intolerable,” said Cho, comparing Chae’s demand to “dumping cold water” on efforts to “uplift police morale.”
An official from the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency said that the performance point system is vital and “should not be abolished because it puts people, whether in public or private service, to work.”
“Satisfaction from the public on security shows our true performance points,” continued the official. “The system is not there just to count arrests.”
However, a source in the Seoul Police told the JoongAng Ilbo of a police officer who called the police hotline, and also answered the dispatch himself to raise his emergency call response points.
Chae was dismissed from his position yesterday afternoon by the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency for his “display of extreme dissatisfaction that was an act of discipline deterioration violating the organization’s chain of command.”
The Gangbuk police precinct had the lowest performance marks in Seoul during the past four months.
By Kim Seung-hyun, Christine Kim [firstname.lastname@example.org]
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