Following the police failure in the handling of the Suwon Torso Murder Incident, another case has emerged in Miryang, a small town in Gyeongsang province, leading many netizens to suggest that the Korean police system needs to undergo serious reforms.
Since April 10th, the Miryang police station website has been overwhelmed by messages from enraged netizens after it was revealed that a high-school student involved with the “Miryang gang rape” case in 2004 has become a police officer there.
In the “Miryang gang rape” incident, which took place in Miryang city in 2004, two middle school students were gang raped repeatedly for about 12 months by a group of 44 (some unofficial estimates are as high as 80-90) high school students. Sadly, the police failed to protect the identity of the victims, used allegedly humiliating investigations techniques, and on several occasions were accused of insulting the victims and their families –– blaming them for the incident. Lastly, as many of the assailants were from rich influential local families, most of them got away with a warning and allegedly continue to live normal lives.
The public anger about the handling of the Miryang incident has resurfaced again, after it became clear that Hwang Seon-mi, a friend and a girlfriend of one of the Miryang gang members, had become a police officer at the local police station. The following image of a message sent by Hwang Seon-mi to her friend shortly after the incident has been making a splash on Korean internet.
[Translation of above]
Did it all get sorted out ok?
I’ve heard that apart from 3 people everyone came out fine…
Those girls were so ugly anyway…
Anyway, good work.
Responding to attacks from netizens, Hwang Seon-mi has posted an open apology saying that she regrets her past behavior. She also writes that it was just a mistake which she committed in her youth and asks for understanding. However, netizens do not believe the sincerity of this, especially since the emergence of the personal statement written by Hwang Seon-mi when applying for the post at the police station – has been made public:
I am a very honest and diligent person and I know myself well. I think about crime from the viewpoint of criminals too, and in case of sexual assault I am able to consider both – victim’s as well as criminal’s position and whether the victim did not walk around in a manner encouraging to be assaulted. So please choose me for this position. I can do some martial arts as well.