The National Police Agency (NPA) on Tuesday gave Songshan Precinct Chief Huang Jia-lu (黃嘉祿) a major demerit for an incident that saw Chinese envoy Chen Yunlin (陳雲林) trapped in the Grand Formosa Regent Taipei Hotel on the night of Nov. 4.
Huang was punished after protesters managed to surround the hotel where the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait chairman and his fellow delegates were having dinner with Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄). At the time, Huang decided not to increase the number of police officers even as the number of protesters began to grow.
The loss of control at the hotel resulted in Chen being trapped inside for more than six hours, the agency said.
The officer who was in charge when the police closed the Sunrise Records store, Beitou Precinct Chief Lee Han-ching (李漢卿), received an oral reprimand.
Part of the crowd protesting Chen’s visit had spilled over to the sidewalk in front of Sunrise Records. Some of the protesters started dancing to music from an album titled Songs of Taiwan, which was being played in the store.
Lee, followed by several other police officers, entered the store, after which the music was turned off and the store’s door closed halfway.
The crowd started to protest and during the standoff CD shelves and the store’s roller door were broken, while store manager Chang Pi (張碧) was slightly injured.
NPA Director-General Wang Cho-chun (王卓鈞) said he did not find Lee’s actions improper in any way, but said his handling of what happened afterward was questionable.
The police and Chang have offered different versions of the incident, disagreeing about why the music was turned off and who made the decision to close the store.
The store’s owner has accused Lee of lying and has asked for an investigation to establish whether police officers abused their power.
Wang told a press conference at the NPA that although he was generally satisfied with the performance of officers during Chen’s visit from Nov. 3 to Nov. 7, the police still needed to make improvements.
“We were simply doing our job to the best of our ability,” he said.
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