The Joong Ang Ilbo has an update on the racial incident involving a Columbian man at a Busan Costco. His activism after the incident led to positive change at the Busan police department that handled his case:
After the incident took place, did the Busan Yeonjae Police Department chief (Ryu Sam-yeong) call to apologize?
Leonardo Mendoza and Shin Jin-yeong having a friendly chat in front of a supermarket after a severe racial discrimination case involving Mendoza in Busan. [SONG BONG-GEUN]
That’s correct. On Sunday (April 2) night, three days after, he apologized, saying, “We do have training, but it was very insufficient and we will expand training pertaining to foreigners.” On the next day, I called again and requested to have an internal racial discrimination training session. I went for a lecture to the police station on April 5. When I met him at the chief’s office, he said, “Of police chiefs countrywide, I am the only one with a perm. Of policemen, there are those who dislike hearing a lecture held by a foreigner. I ask for your understanding even though the audience may be small.”
When I actually went to the lecture hall, there were 250 policeman cramped inside. The policeman who handled the incident at the time attended and apologized to me in person. I learned for the first time in my 16 years living in Korea that there was an external affairs section that investigated incidents involving foreigners.
What kind of thoughts did you have?
With all that’s happened, the police chief can be called a hero. Anyone can write or post something. However, the police chief went above and beyond what he had to do and went a step further. In the end, the incident ended on a positive note. I counted, and there are 252 police departments in Korea. The change at the Yeonjae Police Department cannot stop there. The remaining 251 police chiefs must take an interest in safety measures for foreigners. [Joong Ang Ilbo]
You can read more at the link, but the Korean man involved in this incident ultimately giving a half hearted apology for the incident as well.
This story of a Columbian man assaulted by a Korean man at a Busan Costco just continues to confirm my long held advice that foreigners need to swallow their pride and walk away from confrontations with Koreans. This is because the odds are high that the police will side with the Korean and that the foreigner will end up being the one arrested which is what happened in this case.
To summarize a Columbian man and his Korean wife were walking back to their car at the Busan Costco when the Korean wife yelled loudly for a car to stop which saves the life of little kid who can in front of it. The grandpa of the little kid gets angry at the Korean wife for yelling at the kid and then eventually tries to assault her. However Columbian husband gets in front of him to stop the assault and the grandpa pushes the Columbian to the ground and begins to punch him. While this is going on he is yelling racist remarks the whole time. The assault is caught on camera and yet the police side with the Korean grandpa who is lying and yelling racist remarks the whole time. The police arrest the Columbian man and say this can all go away if he does not pursue the assault charge on the Korean man. The charges are dropped after the Columbian man agrees to not pursue the case against the grandpa and everyone goes home.
The best thing the Columbian man did was not to try and fight back despite being pushed to the ground and having the Korean man on top of him punching him. In Korea you do not have the right to self defense like people in the United States for example may be use to having. If he would have punched the guy back he would likely be in jail for assault. What he was not smart about was trying to pursue the assault charge against the Korean man. He should have just left after the assault was broken up because the odds of the police siding with a foreigner are very low. This is where the swallowing your pride and walking away is the best thing to do. It lets the Korean man save face while the foreigner doesn’t have to worry about getting arrested.