Taipei City Police Department’s Zhongshan Precinct yesterday apologized after three police officers asked a woman to strip during a search in a toilet in a convenience store.
Police said the 25-year-old woman, surnamed Huang (黃), and a male companion drove up to a police inspection point at 3:45am on Sunday.
Two police officers at the checkpoint said they smelled what they thought was ketamine, but found nothing after searching the car, the two people’s bags and pockets.
Huang was quoted by local media reports as saying that the police officers asked if she would cooperate in a body search, and she said yes, thinking that they would not let her leave if she said no.
Huang was quoted as saying that the two police officers asked a female police officer to carry out the body search. The female officer took her to a toilet at a nearby convenience store and asked her to take off all her clothes, including her bra, which the officer inspected.
Huang was quoted as saying that she felt embarrassed as she covered her breasts with her hands, adding that the police officer also asked her to jump twice while topless before asking her to also take off her pants and underwear.
“There should be no need to remove my pants, right?” she was quoted as asking the officer.
“You said you would cooperate fully,” the officer was quoted as saying.
The woman said she took off her underwear and was naked for five seconds.
The precinct yesterday said it had investigated the matter and concluded that the three officers had acted out of line and were given minor demerits.
According to lawyer Tsai Jui-lin (蔡瑞麟), the Police Duties Enforcement Act (警察職權行使法) stipulates that when a driver stops at a police checkpoint, officers are not permitted to search the driver’s car without sufficient reason.
Moreover, the Code of Criminal Procedure (刑事訴訟法) states that only people who are under arrest should be subjected to a body search, he said.