Miaoli County Commissioner Liu Cheng-hung (劉政鴻) has filed a lawsuit against National Tsing Hua University student and Youth Alliance for Miaoli spokesman Chen Wei-ting (陳為廷), despite having said that he would not take legal action against the person who threw a shoe at him during a protest last month. Liu made the decision after Chen said on Facebook that he was the one who threw the shoe.
The incident occurred outside the house of Chang Sen-wen (張森文) — the owner of a house in Dapu Borough (大埔), Miaoli County, which was forcibly demolished in July by the county government — whose body was found last month in an irrigation channel a little more than 200m away from the site of his former home.
Chang’s family had turned down the commissioner’s request to pay his respects, but Liu still came to the house where the body was being kept on Sept. 18, the day Chang was found.
Relatives, friends and supporters of the Chang family stood outside the house to deny Liu entry. They clashed with police officers who were trying to escort the county commissioner into the house. During the conflict, Liu was hit by a shoe.
At the time, Liu said he would not take legal action against whoever threw the shoe. However, he later changed his mind.
“I said I would not sue the person who threw the shoe because I thought it was someone from Chang’s family who did it,” Liu said to reporters. “But I learned the next day that it was Chen who threw the shoe and so I decided to file a lawsuit after speaking with my assistants.”
He added that Taiwan is a country that abides by the rule of law and it is intolerable for someone to attack a public servant out of frustration.
“Apparently Chen considers the law as irrelevant,” Liu said. “I don’t care if I am humiliated, but I have to defend the safety and dignity of government employees. Therefore I have no choice but to file a lawsuit against him.”
Chen posted a statement on Facebook saying he had already received a notice from the police asking him to appear at the Jhunan Police Department on Sunday to be interrogated. However, Chen said he would not go.
Chen said that Liu should be held responsible for what happened, since the conflict was all because of the commissioner’s disrespect for the family in mourning.
“Liu told the media that he has taken legal action to defend the dignity of government employees, but I’d say that a government employee does not deserve to be respected if he disrespects a family in mourning and upsets people,” Chen said in the statement. “I will not appear at the police department office as a means of protest.”