Protesters to face charges for defacing police HQ sign

national January 24, 2014 00:00

By The Nation

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The protesters who removed the metal letters spelling out Royal Thai Police at the police headquarters on Wednesday would face charges, police spokesman Pol Maj-General Piya Uthayo announced yesterday.

As for the removal of the signage, Piya said there were at least 21 protesters involved in the wrongdoing, and more evidence was being gathered against them. Also, funds are being obtained to reinstall the letters, he said. 
With the city under a state of emergency, the police are planning to reclaim certain streets that are occupied by protesters, which is causing traffic congestion and inconveniencing commuters. Police will hold negotiations with protesters once it is decided which areas need to be reclaimed. 
Another five companies of soldiers have been assigned to work jointly with the police to provide security and maintain order, in addition to the original 45 companies already on the job, Piya said.
Following the defacing of the complex’s front wall, 13 questions were distributed among police personnel, with the most pertinent one being how the public perceives police and their duties. These questions were later posted on well-known Web portal and widely discussed among the general public. 
Reacting to the protesters’ removal of the police signage, social-media user p.suksri5150, claiming he was a police officer, posted a series of questions. They included: Do you really think all policemen are bad? Policemen may take bribes from illegal businesses or people who broke the law, but you [the wrongdoers] are willing to pay this money for your illegal activities? Policemen follow orders given by their superiors, previously under protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban when he was a deputy premier, but when they obey their current superiors, they are condemned as cronies of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Is such criticism unbiased and well-thought out?
The questions and the responses were later circulated among all metropolitan police officers and in social media.