SINGAPORE — The Singapore Police Force (SPF) on Wednesday (29 June) apologised after a photo of one of its officers "inappropriately" posing with a "V" sign at a scene of a person's death was posted on social media.
In a post on Facebook, SPF said it would be taking internal action against the officer.
The photo, posted by Facebook user Tracy Lim on Tuesday, showed a police officer posing next to a blue tent used to cover a person's body.
The person was found lying motionless at the foot of a block on Tuesday. The police have classified the incident as unnatural death.
In her post, which is no longer accessible, Lim wrote that the deceased person was her aunt who "had decided to take her life". Lim called the officer out for posing like her aunt's body "was nothing but a background or an accessory to a photo”.
The officer had thought the situation was funny and a "happy matter like he just won a trophy, game or prize", instead of showing basic respect, she said.
Lim asked, "Is there no integrity on how a police officer should behave, especially when he is on duty, attending to a case involving (a) casualty?
“This is utterly unacceptable and disrespectful to my family and myself and anyone who has been through death in the family.”
Lim also called on Minister for Home Affairs and Law K Shanmugam to look into the training of police officers.
"I hope no one will have to go through this like what we did; rubbing salt onto the wound by someone whose profession is to protect us," she said.
Police: Officer's response 'inappropriate'
The police said they have contacted the next-of-kin of the deceased and apologised for the officer’s actions.
They also clarified that the officer was not taking a photo of himself at the scene, but added that his response was inappropriate "in the presence of onlookers in the vicinity".
"All police officers are expected to maintain professionalism in managing incidents. The police will be taking internal action against the officer," the police said.
In a separate Facebook post on Wednesday, Lim confirmed that the police had called to apologise and that her family has accepted the apology.
"We appreciate the fast action and assurance they will reinforce the sensitivity when handling such cases. We wish to rest the matter and let our family have privacy as we prepare for final arrangement of our aunt," she said.
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