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Tuesday, December 7, 2021

The Police are Definitely Hiding Something | CCTV Requests Denied in Han Rivergate Mystery

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Son Jung Min’s father has discovered unexpected life lessons from pursuing the path of justice to find out what really happened to his son in the unsolved Han Rivergate mystery. In the latest update, he shares the outcome of his months-long journey to request missing CCTV footage held by various governmental agencies including the controversial Seocho Police Department. Why is he being blocked in every direction? And will the legal arguments made by the police department hold up in court?

Other governmental agencies released their CCTV footage early on in the case and did not cite the obscure legal codes the police department gave that supposedly govern public organizations. The Seoulite definitely believes the police are hiding something big.

Yes, Son Jung Min’s father has been working all along on requesting the CCTV footage we’ve all been eager to see. And it was a smart move to make the requests to multiple agencies at the same time. Each set of CCTV cameras are controlled by different government entities including city, police, fire department, etc. It’s been a hot minute since he’s made these requests too, starting from June 26 to August 30, 2021. 

Here is a loosely translated account of Mr. Son’s blog post along with my thoughts and commentary.


Result of Request #7961162 made on 6/26/2021 to the Seocho Police Department to release CCTV footage overlooking the Banpo Han River Park. The police’s shady answer:

  • We are responding to your request to release the CCTV footage from the southernmost end of the Banpo bridge and the traffic cameras from the Olympic Highway.
  • This case is restricted by laws governing the release of information of public institutions over worries that there will be unintended consequences. Therefore, we have granted ‘partial release’. 
  • There are laws that restrict the release due to unrelated faces and car license plates recorded in the video.
  • Furthermore, there is judicial precedent to block access because blurring out third parties creates a new video and that’s a justified reason to block access. [WORD SALAD!!!]
  • Nevertheless, we considered the position of the victim’s family and invited them to view CCTV footage on May 27 and June 21. On these two occasions, we gave them the opportunity to look at the footage and told them they could come back to look at it again if necessary.

The CCTV footage from the Banpo interchange was released by the city of Seoul to media outlets so numerous volunteers and experts from the public have analyzed this footage amounting to countless hours. Yet, there are many unspecified individuals who show up in this footage. Some appear to be very important witnesses. But because of the resolution and size of the video, they can’t all be identified. 

It is obvious how important the police department’s restricted CCTV footage is to discover more details about the critical moments of the 3:31 a.m. push over the riverbank, the supposed moment when a passerby woke up Mr. A around 4:30 a.m. on the riverbank, and when Mr. A and his father returned to the riverbank after 5:00 a.m.  

The first time the police showed Mr. Son the CCTV footage was on a small computer monitor. Then, during the second visit when he asked for the largest screen possible, all he got was a 40” screen with fuzzy resolution and flickering.

Why would the city of Seoul be able to release the CCTV footage so readily, but not the Seocho police department? Excuses. Excuses. Excuses. Lies. Lies. Lies.

The law the Seocho Police Department cited to back up their claim of not being able to release the CCTV footage seems to be based on very weak legal grounds. BS legal grounds. It appears to manipulative to be written by a police department. Rather, it seems like it was drafted by a legal defense team. It even seems like they had to stretch to find a law that really doesn’t even apply to this situation. Here’s their claim. 

Claim: Information from public institutions can be blocked on the following grounds…

  • If the information related to an on-going trial, investigation, prosecution, or charges impede the work of employees or gets in the way of the accused for a fair trial.
  • If there is a threat to your name, resident registration number, private details of your personal life, or intrusion of your freedom.

Why this claim falls apart: There is no on-going investigation or trial. It’s completely finished according to the police. There’s no one being accused according to the police since there was absolutely no criminal connection. There’s no threat there. If people feel threatened, they can come bring it up themselves. Isn’t this for documents anyhow, not videos? 

SJM’s father definitely should sue. He should let it run on autopilot and use each court appearance as an opportunity to stick a knife into the heart of the police department in front of the media. He needs to team with those who have been wronged by the police department, like the Burning Sun whistleblower, but one who is more relevant, and find an easy angle for the public to latch onto. It’s not the what or why about the CCTV. It’s what the police are doing to you – the average person.

Even though the police said way back in June that they would leave one team to respond to my criminal filings and investigate, they’ve done nothing and not even contacted me once.
I find it ironic that I have to sue the police department and spend my own money on lawyers just to get the CCTV footage that taxpayers have paid for.

SJM’s Father

Request #8186333 was for the CCTV footage of the Banpo Interchange (in the direction of the apartments) administered by the Seocho district office. They also had the footage of the fountain and the plaza as seen in the controversial “Unanswered Questions” episode. However, the district office responded by saying that the footage had been deleted because too much time had passed. However, the police would have a copy, they said. The tapes requested by “Unanswered Questions” were under the jurisdiction of the Han River Park, but they were requisitioned by the police as well. The end result is that all of the CCTV footage has been locked away. “If I want it, I have to win an administrative lawsuit,” says Mr. Son.

SJM’s father also requested release of more information from the National Scientific, Criminal & Investigation Laboratory. It responded by saying it agreed with the assessment of its Seoul branch and that there was nothing of interest on the remaining items. It says to check the report for more specific information. But the report said there was no more specific information.

High Resolution CCTV Video of 3:31 a.m. “Fall Over the Riverbank” and the Unidentified Witnesses Who Ran Away

The last CCTV request was made to the police department again. It was for a camera that shot the intersection of the Banpo Bridge and Olympic Highway. Even though it’s high up, it looks down from a different angle so it offers a good opportunity for analysis. Then, SJM’s dad wrote in big, bold letters.. what the police claimed to had said to him, “The door is open whenever you want to come back to view the footage.”

I believed this whole-heartedly. And I asked to see the footage from 5:12-5:20a.m.

His text was ignored from 10am to 7pm. They said oh, you can’t come tomorrow. There’s an event. The boss will let you know.

Then the next day the police said anything after 5 a.m. had nothing to do with his case so he wasn’t allowed to see the CCTV footage.

He kept trying. And then they said they were too busy on other cases. Then they threw in — we know you’re suing on other CCTV cases. Let’s see how those go and proceed. Take care.

They sound like a super shady ex.

They definitely have something to hide.

Rather than being discouraged, be encouraged that you trapped them in a corner.

You have to push hard twice as hard now. Sue them twelve times if you have to. And come up with a simple story for the media.

SIGN THE PETITION! https://www.change.org/sonjungmin

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