The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday defended KMT Legislator Arthur Chen (陳宜民) after he allegedly pushed a policewoman outside the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Taipei on Friday, saying she was not wearing a uniform and had the demeanor of a “weird aunt.”
The policewoman was wearing a baseball cap that said “New Zealand” and “appeared to be a random passer-by or a weird aunt,” KMT deputy spokesman Huang Hsin-hua (黃心華) said in a written statement.
She was filming Chen at a close distance before he got upset during a commotion and resorted to “physical gestures” to stop her harassment, Huang said, adding that the legislator had issued an apology.
Chen and eight other KMT legislators had gone to the ministry to demand an investigation into the suicide last year of Su Chii-cherng (蘇啟誠), the then-director-general of the Osaka branch of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Japan.
The Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office on Tuesday last week indicted Yang Hui-ju (楊蕙如), a former campaign aide to Representative to Japan Frank Hsieh (謝長廷), for allegedly posting insulting online comments accusing the Osaka branch of failing to offer timely help to Taiwanese in Japan during Typhoon Jebi.
“The KMT again urges President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and the ministry to thoroughly investigate why an outstanding diplomat would commit suicide under government pressure and undue blame before information could be clarified,” Huang said.
Chen on Saturday apologized to the policewoman in a Facebook post for “pushing and [his] emotions,” but insisted that she had ignored his request to identify herself.
However, video footage released by Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇) showed Chen asking the policewoman: “Why is the Special Police Sixth Corps here?” before appearing to knock her hat off and pushing her off a porch.
After Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) and former New Taipei City mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) on Sunday urged Chen to apologize for mistreating the policewoman, Chen wrote on Facebook in the evening that he “felt ashamed for causing the officer to come under a national spotlight.”
He had assumed that she was a ministry official and only learned that she is part of the corps after someone told him, he said.
The corps said that the policewoman had identified herself as a police officer and explained to Chen that she was on duty.
By knocking off her hat and pushing her off the stairs, Chen allegedly committed obstruction of law enforcement, it said, adding that the headquarters would firmly defend the dignity of officers.
Although Chen’s feelings were understandable, his behavior was inappropriate, Deputy Minister of the Interior Hua Ching-chun (花敬群) said.
“The right attitude is to admit it when you are wrong and apologize when needed,” he said.
It is common practice for some police officers to work out of uniform and the policewoman was maintaining order outside the ministry like every other officer there, he said, adding that Chen did not encounter her on a random street.
The officer did not request anything after the incident, Hua said, adding that he hopes legislators would show more respect for police.
Additional reporting by CNA and Chen Kuan-jen
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