Keelung Mayor Chang Tong-rong (張通榮) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) was indicted yesterday for allegedly interfering with the police detention of a suspect, in connection with an incident in which he is said to have forced police officers to release a woman who had punched a police officer.
Keelung prosecutors indicted Chang with illegally freeing a detained person. If found guilty, he could face a prison term of between one and seven years.
The chief of the Anle (安樂) police station, Lin Hung-sheng (林煌盛), and a police officer surnamed Liao (廖) were also charged with illegally freeing a detained person, while a woman surnamed Liao was charged with interfering with the duties of a police officer.
Prosecutors said on the evening of Sept. 14, a female police officer surnamed Wang (王) saw a woman (Liao), allegedly drunk at the time, start her car and prepare to drive away. Wang asked the woman to step out of the car so she could run some sobriety checks. However, the woman shouted at Wang and allegedly punched her in her face.
Police then arrested the woman and brought her to the Anle station on charges of interfering with the duties of a police officer.
Police officers called Liao’s daughter to the police station, where she made telephone calls to KMT Keelung Councilor Shen Yi-chuan (沈義傳) and Chang.
Shen went to the police station and allegedly asked the officers to free Liao without charge, but the police refused.
Chang later went to the police station, and asked officers not to charge Liao with interfering with the duties of a police officer, but find some other ways to “punish” her.
After the officers refused his request, Chang started to hit a table with his hands and reportedly shouted at police officers: “You are great. You are so great. I will have [National Police Agency] Director-General Wang [Cho-chiun (王卓鈞)] come here to give you rewards, and then ask Director-General Wang to transfer you outside Keelung. I do not want to see honest and hard-working police officers like you remain unhappily in Keelung.”
“I am a person who bears resentments. You could do whatever you want to do. That is OK for me. I am removing you. Give me commissioner [Keelung City Police Department Commissioner Frank] Chiu [(邱豐光)],” Chang allegedly said.
Prosecutors said two police officers, Lin and Liao, finally accepted Chang’s request and removed the woman’s handcuffs and allowed her to leave the station without charge.