The Taipei District Court on Friday ruled that the Taipei City Government must pay NT$300,000 in compensation to a man who was beaten by police during a crackdown on the Sunflower movement protests at the Executive Yuan in March and April last year.
Lin Ming-hui (林明慧), a teacher from Taichung, filed the suit alleging excessive use of force in violation of the Act Governing the Use of Police Weapons (警械使用條例).
Lin sought compensation from the Executive Yuan, Taipei City Government, National Police Agency and Taipei City Police Department.
Photo: Chang Wen-chuan, Taipei Times
Lin said he took part in a sit-in protest at the Executive Yuan on March 24 last year.
“The protesters sat on the ground peacefully, and nobody had a weapon. But the riot police used violent tactics and wielded batons, striking people,” he said.
A picture of Lin walking away to receive medical treatment, his face and clothing covered in blood, was among the most prominent photographs featured in media coverage of the protesters’ occupation of the Executive Yuan.
Following Friday’s ruling, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said that his government would not appeal the decision.
Lin said he wants to salute the judge for the decision, as winning the case has symbolic meaning.
“However, the government is still applying the same old authoritarian thinking to the current protest by high-school students against textbook curriculum guideline changes,” he said.
Lawyer Wellington Koo (顧立雄) said the ruling was to rectify the government’s unlawful actions and could be used for reference in future litigation.
“It was regrettable that the court did not hold former premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) responsible, as he ordered the police to remove the protesters,” Koo said.
The ruling cited the use of excessive police force against protesters, as Lin was holding on to another person next to him when police tried to disperse the crowd by pulling them away one by one.
“Police may use physical force to remove and carry people away, but when using batons, the officers should only have struck at Lin’s hands, and not at his head,” the ruling said.
It added that in Lin’s case, the officers had violated Articles 9 and 10 of the Act Governing the Use of Police Weapons, which state: “The police should avoid using lethal force unless the situation is so imminent that the lives of officers or bystanders are being threatened,” and “after using the police weapons, the police officer must report his/her use to his/her immediate supervisors except for using a baton as a way to give directions.”
Throughout the hearing and investigation, the police force did not take steps to identify the officer who hit Lin. Instead, it gave the captain of the riot police squad two demerits as punishment.
Lin’s lawyer, Lu Chiu-yuan (呂秋遠), said that was not good enough.
“It has been over a year since the incident, but police are still unable to find out the identity of the officer,” he said. “I hope Mayor Ko can help to find the officer responsible, because we must not let taxpayers foot the bill for police violence.”
‘LOCAL TRANSMISSION’: The nation reported 11 new cases, including seven local infections in the north, the highest daily number of cases since the pandemic began The COVD-19 situation has entered the “local transmission” stage and enhanced disease prevention measures have been implemented until June 8, the Central Epidemic Command Center announced yesterday as it reported six locally transmitted cases with unclear infection sources. The center reported 11 new cases yesterday: four imported cases from India, and seven local infections in northern Taiwan, the highest daily number of cases since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that one of the local infections — case No. 1,201 — is a woman who is a family member living with
SIXTEEN LOCAL: Three COVID-19 infections are linked to a cluster at a gambling house in Yilan County, 10 to a case in New Taipei City and three had unclear sources The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday urged people to increase vigilance and thoroughly practice preventive measures against COVID-19 as it reported 16 locally transmitted cases of the disease. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that 21 cases were confirmed in Taiwan yesterday: 16 local cases, four imported cases and one case undetermined. The locally transmitted cases are three linked to a cluster of infections at a gambling house in Yilan County, 10 associated with a previous case in New Taipei City and three with unclear sources of infection. The CECC on Tuesday reported a cluster
TRACING TROUBLE: An infected man who had said that all his children were abroad was found to have a daughter in Kaohsiung who tested positive, the center said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported a new daily record of 29 local COVID-19 cases, including seven cases with unknown sources of infection. Of the 29 cases, 16 are linked to tea houses in Taipei’s Wanhua District (萬華), Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, told a news briefing in Taipei. The 16 are tea house workers or visitors, or their contacts, the CECC said. Workers and visitors to the establishments have frequent interpersonal contact, but few protective measures against the COVID-19 pandemic are in place, Chen said, urging those who have been exposed or have
ENFORCING CAUTION: Certain entertainment facilities are to close nationwide to prevent people traveling there from high-risk areas in the north, the center said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday raised the COVID-19 alert for Taipei and New Taipei City to level 3 in light of surging cases in the two cities. The enhanced disease prevention measures for level 3 are to be implemented until May 28, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, told a morning news conference at the Executive Yuan in Taipei. With 180 locally transmitted cases confirmed yesterday, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said that the government must take immediate action to protect the public, referring to measures stipulated in the Communicable Disease Control Act (傳染病防治法). Other counties