“Where were all the commanders that had the right and responsibility to judge the situation and send the police force to the site?”
A police officer in North Gyeongsang Province posted a comment using his real name on the police’s internal network “POLNET,” on Wednesday afternoon, where he criticized the police command for their inadequate response to the Halloween tragedy in Itaewon. “Police officers on site tried their best to handle the deadly crush, shouting their heads off and putting their utmost efforts, but there was not a single commander for them to count on,” he said. “What were they doing while the officers were struggling on site?”
Postings criticizing frontline police officers for their poor handling of the crisis were shared on various online platforms, such as the police internal network, on Wednesday and Thursday.
“The police command had to set up a plan in advance and send personnel on large scale,” commented another frontline police officer at Gyeonggi Province on Thursday morning. “A few manpower from a police box was not enough to cope with a massive crowd.”
Some postings target the police’s special inspections of the Itaewon police box. “The targets for inspection should be the ones in charge of the crush, such as the Commissioner of the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency, not the officers who did their best with all their might at the site,” posted another police officer on Wednesday morning. On Thursday morning, a frontline police officer in the metropolitan area said, “I feel so shameful that the command is just busy trying to pass the buck to those on site. They never change.” A comment that says, ‘I want to see the commissioner courageous enough to step down,’ hit 2,000 to 17,000 views.
“It’s a shame that the command is now trying to ‘cut the tail off,” a police officer in Seoul told a journalist of The Dong-A Ilbo. “They have to come clear about what they were doing at the time and send an apology for what they have done.”