Posted by Sophie-Ha Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Footage from 2021 revealing police directing traffic in Itaewon has K-citizens wondering “Where was the police?” in 2022


As of November 1, the number of deaths in the Itaewon tragedy has increased to 156. Many South Korean citizens are seeking to find the cause of the accident and the one to take responsibility for the tragedy.

With investigations launched, many Koreans believe that the Itaewon tragedy could have been prevented and are wondering why there weren't many policemen dispatched to the area. Many voices of criticism pointed out that there was a foreshadowing of the tragedy as dozens of Korean citizens reported to the police about the surging number of people. Additionally, South Koreans are saying that this was the first Halloween celebration without mask restrictions, so the government should have expected there to be a huge number of people heading to Itaewon.

Nevertheless, the Minister of Public Administration and Security stated that the accident was impossible to prevent even if policemen were dispatched to Itaewon. The minister explained during a briefing on October 30 that the Itaewon tragedy was unavoidable and would not have been able to prevent even with a large police presence in the area.

The minister's statement caused further criticism as Korean netizens continued to claim that this accident was preventable. Moreso after videos of Itaewon last year were released. Now Koreans are comparing footage of the Itaewon streets in 2021 and 2022, stating that there were far fewer policemen dispatched to Itaewon in 2022 despite a large number of people gathering. 

One video of 2021 reveals that there were many policemen dispatched to Itaewon to control the crowd movement even in the narrow streets. These policemen are seen holding light sticks and blowing on whistles to prevent a stampede and to keep the narrow alleyway from becoming too crowded.

Video of Itaewon in October 2021:

Many Korean netizens are raising their voice in anger as they are criticizing that there are visibly far fewer police officers at Itaewon in 2022 compared to 2021.

K-netizens commented, "The safety of the citizens really depends on who is the president and mayor...is what I really feel. This is the same location but look how incompetent they worked," "This is really baffling and my hands are shaking from anger," "There was police restriction on the streets last year, the mayor and president really should take responsibility," "They sent so many policemen to be next to the president in Yongsan while young people were dying in Itaewon," "The comparison is so clear," "The police are in the narrow alleyway and blowing whistles last year but this year the police weren't even there when people were asking for police help," and "There were so many policemen at Itaewon during Halloween in previous years."

During the incident, one video revealed that only one police officer was shouting and trying to control the crowd. He is seen pleading to the crowd to clear the Itaewon area and screaming for people to move away from the street, begging them to move. But the ratio between the number of people and policemen was overwhelming, and he was not able to easily control the crowd because he was alone. There were witness testimonies that many people did not believe he was a real policeman because he was the only one trying to control the foot traffic.

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Limerence2,568 pts Tuesday, November 1, 2022 7
Tuesday, November 1, 2022

The excuse about the protests in Gwanghwamun diverting resources has also been debunked. The areas were dispersed well beforehand and by 9pm the 4800 officers had already left the scene (90 minutes before the crowd crush). 1100 were deployed to President Buffoon's office nearby.

29 (+31 / -2)

7 more replies

DoNotDisturb1,371 pts Tuesday, November 1, 2022 0
Tuesday, November 1, 2022

"There was police restriction on the streets last year, the mayor and president really should take responsibility," "They sent so many policemen to be next to the president in Yongsan while young people were dying in Itaewon,". my thoughts exactly people are saying oh but there were multiple calls ok but what can the people answer the call do when there the don’t have the staff.

17 (+17 / -0)


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