Korean Grandma vs. Busan Police: CCTV Footage of “Elder Abuse” Sparks National Criticism

The elder was looking for help when the local police got violent with her for no apparent reason.

MBN‘s exclusive news segment shared a frightening encounter that a Korean senior citizen in her 70s had at a police station under the management of Busan Dongbu Police Department—and the CCTV footage revealing the night unfold sparked national criticism of the police force.

The branch in question, believed to be the Busan Choryang Police Station. | Google Maps

On December 14, 2022, the grandma was spotted entering the police station past midnight. The elder, who was later revealed to have missed the last train home—with no acquaintance in town and no money in hand, was looking for shelter from the freezing weather.

The CCTV captured one of the station officers interacting with the elder. While the interaction seemed harmless, and the elder was seen sitting still and causing no evident trouble…

…the footage also shared some brutal mistreatment of the grandma. About 40 minutes after the elder found solace, another officer forced her off the seat and kicked her out of the station.

The officers were also captured locking the station doors so the elder could not return. In an interview with MBN, the elder explained that she “begged [the officers] to let her stay for a bit longer” but that the police station was adamant about making her leave as soon as possible.

She also claimed that in the process of forcing her out of the station, the officers got too rough with her and made her sprain her back.

The officers started treating me like a homeless person. Even worse than they would a homeless person. So I asked them to please be nice to me. Is that so horrible?

— Grandma

The police station told MBN that the officers had to see the elder out because the station was receiving a lot of calls for patrol and because she was getting worked up and interrupting the officers. The CCTV, however, showed the elder remaining seated the whole time, except for once when she got up to get a cup of water.

After getting kicked out, the elder hitched a mile-long ride to another police station under the management of Busan Seobu Police Department, where she was able to wait until the first train started running. The news segment revealed that the elder’s case came to light when the unrelated police department started investigating what happened to the elder.

Following the report, the police station and the Busan Dongbu Police Department faced massive public backlash. Koreans were fierce with the criticism, pointing out that the police should be “helping the citizens, not abusing them.” Some even demanded that the officer(s) involved be removed from service.

| theqoo
  • “Insane. How is he even in service? I can’t believe I have to pay taxes for police officers like that.”
  • “That police officer doesn’t deserve to be in uniform. The one grabbing the elder by the collar and dragging her out? That’s not a policeman.”
  • “But isn’t the police station a space for people to wait while things get sorted out? I don’t understand why the officers felt the need to kick the elder out.”
  • “What’s wrong with the Korean police force these days? I haven’t seen a single positive article on them. How come they’re turning into thugs?”
  • “You know… There used to be a time when people shared great stories about how they got helped by the local police stations. But the world has changed, people are all weird now. Everything and everyone is abnormal.”
  • “Ugh, this pisses me off so much… How can a person like that be in uniform?!”
  • “I doubt that police officer understands what it means to be in uniform and serving his people.”
  • “What in the world did I just watch?!”
  • “OMFG, look at him drag the elder out. Who does he think he is? Some thug? Holy sh*t.”
  • “What the f*ck is wrong with those officers? What did the senior citizen even do? How could they get so violent with her?”

The Busan Dongbu Police Department’s chief officer released an official statement via the official website and promised that the officer(s) involved will face disciplinary measures if appropriate. Meanwhile, the elder has filed a lawsuit against the officer for “assaulting” her.

| Yonhap

This is Busan Dongbu Police Department’s chief officer.

Regarding the incident on December 14, when our officers removed a visitor from the station, I would like to offer the sincerest apologies to the elder involved. I also apologize for disappointing the Korean citizens.

I regret that the officers could not recognize the hardships that the elder was facing at the time. I will make sure this case is investigated thoroughly. Disciplinary measures will take place if deemed necessary and appropriate.

The South Korean police force will continue to pay closer attention to what the citizens want. We will work harder to protect those in need. We promise this will never happen again.

Again, I apologize to the elder and the citizens of Korea disappointed by the incident.

— Busan Dongbu Police Department

Watch the full news report here.

Source: MBN, Yonhap and theqoo (1) and (2)

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