Keelung mayor faces probe over police incident

CELL MATES::A woman who police believe had been drinking and who hit an officer was freed after the city chief arrived at the police station with a gift

By Rich Chang  /  Staff reporter

Thu, Sep 20, 2012 - Page 3

Keelung prosecutors yesterday launched an investigation into Keelung Mayor Chang Tong-rong (張通榮) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), who is alleged to have forced police officers to free a woman who had punched a police officer.

Local media said that on Friday evening, a female police officer surnamed Wang (王) saw a drunk woman surnamed Liao (廖) start her car and prepare to drive off. Wang asked Liao to exit the car so that she could run some sobriety checks, news reports said.

However, Liao shouted at Wang and punched her in her face.

Reports said police then arrested Liao and brought her in on charges of interfering with the duties of a police officer.

Reports have said Liao placed a phone call from the police station to Keelung Councilor Shen Yi-chuan (沈義傳) of the KMT. Shen went to the police station and requested that they free Liao without charge, but the police refused.

Reports said Shen then called Chang and asked him to handle the matter. Chang went to the police station with a box of fruit and apologized for Liao and presented the police officers with the fruit as a gift.

Reports said that with Chang continuing to urge the release of Liao, police officers finally removed her handcuffs and had Shen accompany her out of the police station without charge.

Reports said that both Chang and Shen may have violated regulations on freeing a detained person as set down in the Criminal Code.

Keelung prosecutors yesterday went to the police station to interview Wang and other police officers. Liao was also summoned for questioning.

Chang said that his actions were a simple case of providing a service to voters while adding that because the police insisted on charging Liao, he needed to press the issue.

“The councilor is there, the mayor is there, too. We ask you for help. If you continue to say no, it is not good. If people are charged with trivial things, society would be a mess,” Chang said he told police officers at the sation.

Chang added that the police officers accepted his request and then allowed Liao to leave after she had bowed and apologized to Wang.