Taiwan International Worker’s Alliance (TIWA) members gathered outside the National Police Agency this morning to protest the killing of a Vietnamese man in Hsinchu August 31.
The protestors handed over a petition calling for the release of video evidence of the shooting, and demanding a thorough investigation and report.
The 27 year-old Vietnamese man named Nguyen was shot 9 times by police officers after a member of the public reported that a naked man was seen damaging a vehicle and attempting to steal it.
Police used pepper spray and batons on the man before shooting him as he attempted to enter the driver’s seat of a police car.
An NPA official said the investigation and related evidence is in the hands of the Hsinchu District Prosecutor’s Office, and that the NPA will continue to ensure police officers are educated in the correct use of firearms for their own safety and that of the public.
Nguyen had been in Taiwan illegally for 3 years since absconding from his employer.
On the morning of August 31, the naked Nguyen was seen acting erratically on the bank of the Fengshan River. He broke into a pickup truck and pushed a scooter into the river.
When police arrived at the scene, Nguyen threw stones at them. A police officer repeatedly sprayed pepper spray at Nguyen’s face but apparently to no effect. Nguyen allegedly kicked the officer in the face, fracturing the officer’s nose.
Finally, another officer fired 9 shots, shooting Nguyen in the abdomen and chest. Nguyen was pronounced dead at the hospital.
A Hsinchu County Police spokesperson said that Nguyen had attempted to steal a pickup truck, pushed a scooter into the river, and was out of control. He was a danger to other members of the public and that is why he was shot.
The worker’s alliance questioned whether the shooting was out of proportion under the circumstances. Nguyen was shot 9 times at close range. On their Facebook page TIWA also raised the question of racism. The comment suggested that the situation would have been dealt with differently if the suspect were white rather than south-east Asian in appearance.