A police officer assigned to guard former Legislative Yuan speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) yesterday triggered a brief manhunt after brandishing a firearm at a driver in New Taipei City’s Sanchong District (三重).
The New Taipei City Police Department said that a driver surnamed Wu (吳) was decelerating on an off-ramp of the Sanchong Cloverleaf when he was overtaken by a black sedan.
After Wu sounded his horn, the two vehicles proceeded to a branch of Taishin International Bank on Sanhe Road when a man in the front passenger seat of the black sedan reportedly drew a gun.
Officers at Luzhou Precinct tracked the black sedan via its license number and then intercepted the vehicle in Luzhou District to discover that the vehicle was transporting Wang and the man with the gun was a 6th Special Police Corps officer.
Former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislator Wang, the nation’s longest-serving legislative speaker, was on his way to an event marking the founding of a school, police said.
When questioned, the police officer said that Wu was tailing Wang’s vehicle and that he displayed his service weapon alongside his police identification badge out of the belief that the driver was a possible threat to Wang’s safety.
Members of the public who reported the incident to the police may have failed to notice the badge, the officer was cited as saying.
A Sanchong Precinct spokesman said that its officers explained to Wu that the special police officer had acted appropriately in the line of duty.
Wu has accepted that the officer was not behaving in an unreasonable way, he said.
The Regulations on Security Operations for Heads of the Central Government and Other Special Subjects states that the former speaker of the legislature is entitled to be guarded by members of the 6th Special Police Corps, he added.
The incident did not result in a police chase or any arrests, and the police officer had reacted to a potential threat to Wang’s life, the 6th Special Police Corps said in a statement.
Minister of the Interior Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) said that the officer involved in the incident was a member of Wang’s security detail and that Wang was entitled to protection for a year after departing public office.
Bodyguards assigned to protect a current or former official are required to carry a firearm and the officer apparently drew the weapon in response to a potential threat to Wang, he said, citing the National Police Agency’s preliminary report.
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