Thu, Mar 27, 2014 - Page 1 News List

Officials deny police used violence to expel students

’BLOODY CRACKDOWN’:A law enforcement official said that considering the number of protesters needing to be dispersed, it was inevitable that some were left bleeding

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff reporter

“It is the shame of the nation” that the police confronted unarmed students using such brutal force, while “you were still so shamelessly boasting about the dispersal operations that day, Chiu Chih-wei said.

In the police reports presented to the committee, the officials said the protesters “did not act with restraint,” the law enforcement measures adopted by the police during the eviction were “appropriate” and that “injuries were caused when the police and the protesters pushed and shoved each other.”

The DPP lawmakers rejected the written reports.

Among the 170 people injured in the eviction was Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) Legislator Chou Ni-an (周倪安).

Footage provided by TSU Legislator Lai Cheng-chang (賴振昌) showed that Chou was trying to protect a protester while police were pulling and dragging protesters, sitting on the ground with their arms linked.

Chou, who was still in hospital as of press time, was badly beaten by the police while officers took cover behind shields, Lai said.

“You could have had two female police pull her [Chou] away because she is petite. Did she pose any danger to police?” Lai said.

In response, Wang said there had been “negligence” by law enforcement in Chou’s case.

Wang was repeatedly questioned by DPP lawmakers throughout the eight-hour meeting, during which more images of injured people were displayed.

When asked to apologize over the use of excessive police force, Wang said: “I cannot apologize before it is clear what happened in each case.”

The DPP lawmakers said that police had violated several regulations in the Police Power Exercise Act (警察職權行使法) and the Statute Governing Use of Arms by the Police (警械使用條例).

Chen Wei-zen, Wang and Lee again defended the use of force in dispersing the protesters after questions from DPP Legislator Kuan Bi-ling (管碧玲).

They said that they would like to apologize for “disturbances to the public caused by the dispersal operation,” but insisted that whether the police had used excessive force or any illegal instruments could not be determined until the situation was clarified.

DPP Legislator Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) asked the trio to say how they felt about the pictures and video footage.

“Do you feel the same way I do?” he asked.

The three said they “could not bear to see” the images.

“I wish the situation had not happened,” Wang said.

Wang said he was ordered by Jiang to “forcibly disperse” the protesters.

The order he gave to Taipei City Police Department Commissioner Huang Sheng-yung (黃昇勇) and Zhongzheng First Precinct Police Chief Fang Yang-ning (方仰寧), who were commanders in charge at the scene, was that police disperse the protesters “with all their strength.”

Huang and Fang did not appear before the committee for questioning.

The committee adopted a series of resolutions about Monday’s events.

Among them was a condemnation of President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), Jiang, Wang and Chen Wei-zen for the “bloody crackdown” carried out by police and a demand that Wang resign.

Executive Yuan spokesperson Sun Lih-chyun (孫立群) called a press conference at 7:50pm.

Sun said Jiang had highly commended Wang and the police and would “very much like to have Wang stay in his position.”

The rumor that the government had asked Wang to resign to take responsibility for the Executive Yuan being occupied “was untrue,” Sun said.

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