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Phuket Opinion: Killer cop playbook

PHUKET: The lack of public interest in a policeman shooting dead an unarmed citizen on the streets of Phuket this past week is plainly disturbing. Is that what people in Phuket consider as run-of-the-mill in 2019?

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By The Phuket News

Sunday 3 February 2019, 09:00AM


The scene of the street slaying early Jan 19. Image: Screengrab

The scene of the street slaying early Jan 19. Image: Screengrab

For all those who think this is a “Thai” reaction, by playing possum and not making any think again. Simply by the statistics, foreigners this week have been more interested in Russians paying for jet-ski damage and an airport security staffer being slapped.

If the reader statistics have shown us anything it is that this week we got a real good look in the mirror. The numbers have plainly questioned whether Westerners who live here, regularly visit here or are related in any long-term way to here even care if Thai cops gun down Thai civilians on the street.

Even the recurring story given most suspicion by our readers, a standard announcement by the TAT that the country is on track for another record-breaking year in tourist arrivals, far outweighed interest among readers.

We can justify this any way we want. We could say, “This happens elsewhere around the world” or “I don’t engage in those types of social circles”. But it doesn’t stick. If this happened in any foreigner’s hometown the reaction would be very different. Killer cops are not the norm; heaven help us if that is so.

Meanwhile, the police seem to be playing this one by the standard playbook. Just get the case inhouse as fast as possible then take as many months as you can to slow down the case so that tracing its progress is lost in the bureaucratic tangle where everyone gets to deny any responsibility for the case.

Like we haven’t seen this one before. Just like every single police officer in Phuket who has been transferred “pending an investigation” for corruption or other wrongdoing, including the allegedly extrajudicial killing in a police chase just three months ago.

So far we have been given no motive for the killing, no firearm recovered and the suspect remains out on bail despite confessing that his first statement to police was a lie. (See stories here, here and here.)

And this when local police get to investigate local police for a fatal shooting.

In contrast, in Bangkok in late December it took police just hours to dismiss an officer from the force and confirm murder charge to be pressed against him for shooting dead a French tourist. (See story here.)

What’s so different in Phuket?

 

 

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christysweet | 05 February 2019 - 09:14:59

Maybe it's because the chauvinist dregs of western society move to Thailand to get  sex from economically disadvantaged people. Do you really expect them to be moral leaders? They thrive on corruption, too. (Why am I here?  I thought they said horses, not whores.)

Fascinated | 04 February 2019 - 10:52:37

There has been a long history in Thailand of cops and ex-cops serving as hitmen. It''s clearly the best police force money can buy.  As fr the murder charge in bangkok that will slowly fade away. look at the retired officer who has carried out two high profile suspicious death car crashes and walked as well, millions of baht involved there
The only interest is TAT stats is the comedy valu...

Kurt | 04 February 2019 - 10:28:50

Well, about 2 years ago PN published article that was in BangkokPost too.  A Minister told press that corruption among Phuket officials is at very high level. It still is. Prove is all around. No use taxi meters, closing times bars, illegal parking tuk tuks, taxis, minivans at spots mend for me and you.  Different prices for locals and tourists.
Present water situation, where did the water go?

Discover Thainess | 03 February 2019 - 10:17:41

Unfortunately I think we can guess at the answer. Police in Phuket seem to be a “business” rather than a “service” who closely protect their own. Will it ever change? Highly unlikely sadly. The army takeover was supposed to change all this but if anything it’s worse. Such a shame as if things were reorganised then life for everyone on phuket would improve dramatically 

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