There’s nothing like body-worn camera footages to refute lies. And that’s exactly what Police used to demolish the lies from The Online Citizen (TOC).
Days earlier, TOC had published a story picked up from an Instagrammer @nichology on May 17. The story alleged that four officers had “clustered an elderly auntie that took off her mask because she was feeling breathless”, had continued to “tell her off” even though the elderly woman had put her mask on and that someone had to step in to “salvage the situation”. TOC published the story without ascertaining its veracity. Not surprised at all.
Police clarified the events in a May 19 Facebook post that the officers were in fact attending to the elderly woman to help her find her way home. As it was dinner time and concerned that the woman could be hungry, the officers also bought her food. She is believed to have dementia and resided in a nearby block. Her domestic helper was contacted to bring her home.
Following the clarification by Police, the POFMA was also invoked and a correction direction was issued to TOC and a few other sites that published the same story.
TOC then tried to cast doubts on the clarification by the Police by publishing a video of an interview featuring the elderly woman in which she denied that police officers had bought her food.
You can just imagine how happy Terry Xu must have been when he uploaded that video. It was that “Got you!” moment for him. After all, this was the woman’s words against the police’s clarification. He was probably relishing to see how the Police will get out of this one.
While Terry Xu might be happy, the woman’s daughter was upset. She was very upset that her mother who has dementia had been taken advantage of by TOC to spin a story.
Speaking to the media at the police headquarters at New Phoenix Park on Tuesday, Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam described TOC’s latest video as unethical and cynical. It is a malicious attack on the police that took advantage of a woman with dementia.
“People who have dealt with people with dementia will know that you can sometimes get them to say many things they will not remember… You interview her, this old lady, try and get her to say things, I would say this is despicable,” said Mr Shanmugam.
What TOC was seeking to do was to cast doubt on the Police to damage trust in Police, Mr Shanmugam said.
Too bad for TOC, there are body-worn camera footages to show that Police did buy food for the woman. You can watch the footages here.
An apology should be forthcoming from Terry Xu of TOC. He should apologise to the family of the woman. He should apologise to the 2 police officers he maligned.
“When they (officers) are wrongly maligned, I won’t sit back and do nothing.”
– Shanmugam –