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?