Saturday, April 07, 2012

Brutal murder in Suwon, police incompetence and online comments

Last Sunday, a woman was kidnapped, raped and murdered in Suwon, not far from my house. What made the crime especially tragic was that the woman was able to call the police and tell them of her location, not far from Jidong Elementary School. Despite knowing this, it took the police 13 hours to find the right house, by which time she had been killed and dismembered.

The police came under fire for their bungling of the 911 call, in which they repeatedly asked the woman to confirm her location, and then asked questions like "do you know who he is?" As the Joongang Ilbo points out, the 112 operator not only wasted time asking stupid questions, but also didn't ask questions like "how far from the school are you" or "what signs did you see around the neighbourhood?"

It's also worth noting the role of neighbours in this, who at one point heard the woman begging for her life from the murder and didn't even bother calling the police, telling the Chosun Ilbo that they thought it was just a fight between a couple. For all the rage that has been directed at the police, some ought to be directed at neighbours. I think it's safe to say that indifference to others is a significant social problem, explaining everything from driving to why meetings between strangers are so awkward.

The fallout has been swift, at least, with the officers in charge of the investigation suspended and an inquiry underway into just how this could happen. The failure of public institutions just when you need them was the subject of this Tweet:

"The cops won't come if you get raped, the Human Rights Commission is silent when the government illegally spies on its people, the prosecutor does nothing with proof of a crime, and the Election Commission isn't there when you're looking for the voting booth. Right now, all we have are (President) Lee Myung-bak, his brothers and their interests. Is this supposed to be a 21st-century democracy?"

A less eloquent but sadly no less popular form of online comment was found here, in response to this article documenting the anti-immigrant sentiment over the past week, the murder in Suwon having been committed by an ethnic Korean from China, and the media never failed to mention the fact that the killer is Chinese.

That a news article got nothing but vile comments isn't really much of a surprise, but I think it's shocking to look at what the most popular comments are. Most of the top 10 or 20 comments are brutally racist, with about a 20:1 ratio of 'agree's to 'disagree's.

1. Deport all the Joseonjok (ethnic Koreans from China). (61 in favour, 4 opposed)

2. Koreans aren't free to walk around where they can't. Foreign languages are scary, so the police have given up in [the immigrant-heavy city of] Ansan. (59 in favour, 4 opposed)

3. What the hell are you talking about? All this time we've been talking about what Joseonjok really are, but they're nothing but foreigners who came here to earn money. They're just money-grubbing insects. Do we have to die just so they can work some dead-end jobs? Who cares what they are? Kick them all out. (47 in favour, 3 opposed)

4. Round up all the migrant workers and illegal immigrants and kick them out. Don't forget all the singers and actors who come from the West, like that bastard Tablo. Kick them out, too. (45 in favour, 9 opposed)

5. Oh my God, he cut off the nipple and ate it? I'm not anti-Chinese, but whenever something bad happens, it's from China. (41 in favour, 2 opposed)

6. Multiculturalism has given us nothing but problems. Sort out these migrant workers! (38 in favour, 2 opposed)

7. If the victim had ordered food for delivery, they would have found her faster. (38 in favour, 1 opposed)

8. Listen up, you fuckers from the migrant worker community centre. The rest of this is unintelligible to me for how badly it's written, so I'll just post the original Korean:

.자국민의범죄가높다고..그래그래도거이검거되지안니?한국범죄검거율존나게높은나라인데.우리나라처럼새벽에혼자돌아다닐수잇는나라가몇업다는건아냐.ㅡㅡ근데외노들이들어오면ㅋㄱ지문도안찍어.불체자되서범죄저지르면신분확인할길이없지..ㅡㅡ미친,,호구들아.다문화이거폐지해야된다.괜히스ㅞ덴독을같은선진국들이다문화실패한정책이라하겟냐 (31 in favour, 2 opposed)

9. 다문화좋아하고자빠졌네. 역사와민족성을 프라이드인 한국인한테 다문화라니 국어도 모르냐? 문화건 잡화건 다 뒤썩자는 게소리지. 도대체 어떤놈이 다문화조잘대고 돌아다니냐. 다문화는 역사가 200년밖에 안된 미쿡에 들어온 온갖이민자들이 뒤섞이며 만들어낸 문화야. 무식한 쉐리들. 미쿡은 아직까지도 이민자들하고 인종,문화차별 전쟁 중이야. 더군다나 우리나라 외국근로자는 95%이상이 저임금 일용직 이딴 노동자들뿐인데 이게 글로벌시대냐? 글로발 노가다판이지. 우리도 통장에 돈없으면 들어오지못하게하고 지문찍고 그래야한다. 완전 글로발 노가다 범죄판 (29 in favour, 1 opposed)

10. Deport all the illegal immigrants. (28 in favour, 1 opposed)

11. The crime rate for non-Koreans is lower than the crime rate for Koreans? Two percent of the population is foreign, but they commit 10% of the crimes. That's five times higher than the crime rate for Koreans. Why would you endanger your own citizens by bringing in dangerous foreigners? (24 in favour, 2 opposed)


Anonymous said...

Let me translate those two.

8. High crime rates of Koreans... Yeah, but aren't the criminals mostly get arrested? Korea is a nation where criminals are very likely to be arrested. Don't you know there aren't many countries where people can walk alone past midnight? However, foreign workers don't get fingerprinted, so there's no way to identify them when they become illegal immigrants and commit crimes. Are you out of mind, retarded? Multicultural policy must be abolished. There is a reason why advanced countries like Sweden say it's a failure. (31 in favour, 2 opposed)

9. Multiculturalism, you say? Are you illiterate? Don't you know history and ethnicity is what Koreans are proud of? It's a bullshit saying we should mix culture and whatever shit. Who the fuck speaks "multiculturalism?" Multiculturalism is made by immigrants of diverse background in the U.S., a nation where history is only about 200 years long. Stupid brats, U.S. is still in racist/cultural war against the immigrants. Also, 95% of the foreign laborers are underpaid daily laborers. You say it's "global age?" It's a global labor site. We should also require people to have money in their bank account and take fingerprints if they want to come. This is a global, low-skill laborer crime site. (29 in favour, 1 opposed)

Adeel said...


Tuttle said...

Wait. Adeel, why did you let that "factoid" about foreigners being responsible for a disproportionate amount of crime go through without comment? That is factually untrue. 3.8% of Koreans were charged with crime in 2010, but only 2.7% of foreigners were.

Adeel said...

Sorry, of course that's true, and I actually left a comment to that effect in response to the guy who wrote it, but I didn't write it here.

Thanks for that handy link.

Gil Ho said...

thanks for the article. Such a tragedy...

Anonymous said...

Great article.. I do agree, even though I am a legal foreign student here, I saw so many foreign workers stays illegally without a thumbprint, always stays out and under the radar. And addition the place where I am from, most of the crime were committed by illegal aliens. Underpaid..when contracts finished, you re out of job, you going hit the that's you find opportunity..a evil one