Legislators criticized the National Police Administration (NPA) yesterday over an incident in which police officers were found to be tailing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chen Ying (陳瑩) after her participation in a protest targeting President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) motorcade on Saturday in Taimali (太麻里), Pingtung County.
Chen said she noticed police were still following her as she went out for dinner after the protest. The car that had been following her allegedly sped off after she attempted to determine who was behind the wheel.
Chen said she went to the police with the license plate number only to discover that the car belonged to the Malan Police -Station chief’s wife.
The Taitung Country police said the car was dispatched “for the legislator’s safety,” a claim which Chen found suspicious.
“If they were trying to protect me, why did they run off when they were discovered?” she said.
Telling a slightly different story, NPA Deputy Director Ho Hai-min (何海民) said Chen was followed because she had blocked the president’s motorcade and police were concerned that Chen could be involved in another accident.
Unhappy with the explanation, DPP Legislator Chen Ting-fei (陳亭妃) and Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chien Tung-ming (簡東明) said covert tailing in the guise of protection was improper.
Minister of the Interior Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) said that while police were ostensibly trying to ensure Chen’s safety, Chen was unaware of such protective measures and, after she discovered she was being followed, the quick escape gave the impression that she was being stalked.
Jiang said for police to tail someone, there must be a clear need for this action, such as fears that Chen and her supporters would head to another site to block the president’s motorcade again.
Tailing Chen when she was returning home with her children or going out to dinner was completely irrelevant to the president’s security, he said.
Apologizing to Chen, Jiang said the incident was primarily the result of insufficient training and overreaction.
TRANSLATED BY JAKE CHUNG, STAFF WRITER