We cannot forgive the way my son was treated: Benjamin Lim’s father in open letter

The family of 14-year-old Benjamin Lim, who was found dead at the foot of his block on 26 Jan after he was questioned by the police, have sent an open letter to The Online Citizen to clarify events.

Written by Benjamin’s father, the letter published on Thursday (4 Feb) seeks to “provide certain information on the chain of events leading to the tragedy”.

“There have been reports in various publications offering different versions of occurrences leading to the passing of Benjamin,” the letter read.

The letter comes after police said on Monday (1 Feb) that they would be reviewing interview procedures.

Benjamin’s death came later in the afternoon that police questioned him for alleged outrage of modesty of an 11-year-old girl.

“It was initially reported that family members had received timely updates from police and school authorities… This statement was not accurate,” said Benjamin’s father in the letter wherein he ran through a timeline of events.

He noted that his wife was initially informed only when the police came to take Benjamin away to the police station.

He wrote that it broke his heart when he learned that his boy had his last meal in the school, a cold bun.

He also castigated the school for letting his son leave without waiting for family members to arrive.

“The school, in my opinion, should never have handed over my son to five police officers during recess hours without having to wait for the arrival of family members,” he said.

Seeking justice

He said it was now his “duty to seek justice” for his son, and he and his family did not want to speculate on whether the offence took place until the coroner’s hearing.

“That said, as parents we cannot forget and we cannot forgive the way my son was treated, from the school to the time he was in police custody,” he wrote.

He had harsh words for his both his son’s school and the police.

“We as parents we entrusted our children to you. You have a duty to ensure that our children are appropriately taken care of, reasonably protected and have their interest in your priority,” he said addressing school authorities.

“To the police… You are there to look for one secondary 3 student. You are not there to apprehend an adult suspect with full ability to escape or capable in single combat,” Benjamin’s father wrote.

He also thanked Benjamin’s friends and members of the public for their support. You can read the letter in full on The Online Citizen.

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