A very sad Siamese tale

When the police are caught on CCTV killing a suspect inside the Nakorn Sawan police station, who do you call?

Who do you call when the police superintendent and a group of officers put a bag over the head of a handcuffed, suspected drug seller, extorting him for two million baht but instead suffocating the man to death?

Who do you call when the police lie in the report, saying he died of methamphetamine overdose?

Who do you call when the incident occurred on 6 August, according to lawyer and anti-graft activist Sittra Biabangkerd, and nothing was done for over two weeks?

Who do you call when low-ranking police officers took the video to their superior, but nothing came of it?

You call on social media.

The video of the killing was released on 24 August and went viral. We can’t show the footage here because it depicts actual killing, but the video is all over Twitter.

The Royal Thai Police stripped the main culprit, Police Colonel Thitisant Utanapol (nicknamed Superintendent Joe), of his rank within the same day.

The incident would likely have been swept under the carpet without the public outcry.

Today, 25 August, arrest warrants were issued for seven police officers. Four have been arrested; three are nowhere to be found, including Superintendent Joe.

But Superintendent Joe is no ordinary officer.

According to news reports, he bumps shoulders with Bangkok’s high society. He owns a 46-million-baht Lamborghini and dates the daughter of a powerful senior police general. He’s also known as Joe Ferrari, you can guess the reason why.

If senior police officers had performed their duty, Superintendent Joe would already be in custody weeks ago.

If, as soon as the scandal broke yesterday, arrest warrants were immediately issued, Superintendent Joe would be in custody since yesterday.

After all, murder, especially by the police, is ground for urgent arrest warrants.

But alas, count the days between 6 August to today, Superintendent Joe still remains at large. Why?

It’s because of a corrupted and broken system.

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