City police commissioner is visiting Korea

October 29, 1990|By Tom Keyser | Tom Keyser,Evening Sun Staff

Baltimore Police Commissioner Edward Woods is on a five-day trip to South Korea as guest of the Korean National Police Department, said Dennis Hill, police spokesman.

The Korean National Police Department is paying for the trip, Hill said, in recognition of the work Woods and local police officers have done with Korean-American business people in Baltimore.

Woods, who departed yesterday, is to tour South Korea's police academy and training facilities and meet with Korean police officials. He will return to Baltimore Friday, Hill said.

Police have worked closely with Korean-American business people, explaining the law to them, explaining the quirks of the legal system, performing security checks of their businesses and teaching them safe business practices, Hill said.

"We've taken the time to explain to them what's going on, like we require warrants and things they don't require in Korea," Hill said. "We've established an excellent relationship with the Korean community."

Woods' trip comes on the heels of an incident last week that pitted blacks against Koreans in a West Baltimore community.

On Thursday, a Korean grocer in Walbrook told his employees to remove a black man from his store because the man was apparently drunk. But James Drumwright, 57, had suffered a fatal heart attack at the B&M Market on West North Avenue.

The store manager, who is black, also said the man appeared to be drunk.

The manager and another employee removed the man from the store and left him on the sidewalk. The grocer's son called paramedics after going outside and checking on Drumwright about five minutes later. But paramedics were unable to revive the victim.

Neighborhood residents picketed the store early Friday but disbanded after a meeting with the grocer, area businessmen, community leaders and Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke.

Dr. John E. Smialek, the state medical examiner, said Drumwright was intoxicated when he died and had a blood alcohol level of .20. The legal level of intoxication is .10.

Smialek said Drumwright had chronic heart disease and showed signs of chronic alcoholism.

The medical examiner said there was no way to predict when advanced heart disease might induce a heart attack.

Black residents and Korean store owners have clashed in several American cities. The clashes are generally blamed on class and cultural differences.

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