A police officer who shot a suspect dead in Wanhua District 5 years ago was acquitted after a court hearing in Taipei today. Taipei City Police Commissioner Chen Jia-Chang went to the Wanhua Police Bureau to congratulate the officer, and speaking to the media, Mr Chen thanked the judges for standing up for the benefit of society and making a decision fair to all parties.
August 13, 2013, a suspected thief named Lee was stopped by police in Zhonghe District, New Taipei City. Lee refused a police inspection and sped off in the direction of Taipei City. In Ximen District, while being chased by police, Lee drove onto a crowded sidewalk near Ximen MRT Station exit 6.
At around 9:00 pm, in a crowded pedestrian area, where people were watching street performances, Police officer Zhang Ying-Yi chased the suspect’s vehicle on foot, Zhang stood in front of the vehicle and ordered the suspect to stop and get out of the car. As the 45 year-old suspect began to reverse, Zhang fired two shots at the front of the vehicle. One bullet grazed Lee’s right elbow, before hitting him in the lower-right abdomen. The shot proved to be fatal.
Media reports following the shooting incident say that Zhang had been aiming at the front tires of the vehicle, and that the second shot had missed and gone through the windshield.
During a court hearing in May 2017, prosecutors argued that the officer had used excessive force under the circumstances. They said that Lee was reversing at the time, and not threatening pedestrians, nor the police officer. Prosecutors charged that Zhang had violated regulations pertaining to the use of police firearms, and had shown professional negligence.
At today’s court hearing, Zhang was acquitted of the charges.
The Police Commissioner said that he hopes that this case will allow all sectors of the community to realize the challenges and difficulties that police officers face in maintaining public order. Facing threats to public safety, officers must be brave and take risks and make quick decisions on the spot. The commissioner hopes that the general public will support police officers in their use of firearms in accordance with the law, while fighting illegal activities and safeguarding public order.
The following video is a news report about the shooting in 2013. In the video, the suspect’s younger brother asks why did the police shoot his brother, who had no criminal record, and was unarmed.