Taoyuan prosecutors have indicted a Jhongli District (中壢) police officer for allegedly throwing a female music teacher to the ground and handcuffing her after she refused to submit to questioning.
The Taoyuan District Prosecutors’ Office had initially declined to press charges, but the Taiwan High Prosecutors’ Office ordered local authorities in December last year to conduct a second review after the music teacher, Chan Hui-ling (詹慧玲), filed an appeal.
On April 22 last year, a police officer, surnamed Yeh (葉), approached Chan as she was walking near Jhongli Railway Station and attempted to question her, asking her name, if she lived nearby and whether she was carrying identification.
When Chan asked why, the officer said he was worried “someone reported you missing” — apparently assuming she was an unaccounted-for migrant worker, a video of the encounter released by police shows.
A dispute broke out after Chan refused to answer Yeh, with Chan appearing to use the words “really stupid,” the video shows.
When the officer asked if she called him stupid, Chan replied: “What you did violated ...”
The officer interjected, saying: “Okay, well you’ve just called me stupid,” before the video clip stops a few seconds later.
However, videos of the subsequent moments taken by bystanders show Yeh throwing Chan to the ground and handcuffing her as she screams in panic.
He then places her under arrest for “obstructing a public official,” the video shows.
In Facebook posts after the incident, Chan argued that Yeh did not have grounds to question her, and accused him of abusing his power by slamming her to the ground, handcuffing her and holding her at a police station for questioning.
Prosecutors said in a news release yesterday that after conducting a second review of the evidence in the case, they had charged Yeh with offenses against personal freedom by a public official.
The Taoyuan Police Department’s Jhongli Precinct vowed to respect the judicial process, and to step up training to ensure officers carry out their duties legally and with a sense of proportionality.
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