Protesters challenge police shooting of Vietnamese worker
Migrant network calls on police to release footage of incident to show accountability; initial autopsy suggests man was shot nine times at close range
Protesters marched to the National Police Agency (NPA) in Taipei on Monday and called for a full investigation into the slaying of a 27-year-old Vietnamese man shot many times by a police officer last Thursday.
More than 70 protesters from the Migrants Empowerment Network in Taiwan (MENT) – an organization focused on migrant workers’ rights – condemned police for using excessive force when trying to arrest the runaway migrant worker, which eventually led to the man’s tragic death, China Times reported.
The protesters said the incident spurred key questions about the level of skill of the officer involved handling the shirtless Vietnamese man, who may have had a mental condition at the time of the incident.
They asked if language barriers played a role in communication failures between the police and the suspect, and why the officer involved needed to fire nine shots from close-range at the victim.
The group called for the NPA to release footage of the incident to the public in the interest of transparency and accountability.
Chen Hung-yao, a section chief at the NPA, received a petition from the protesters and stressed that a thorough investigation would be conducted by Hsinchu District Prosecutors Office, with Hsinchu County Police Bureau ready to fully assist the probe.
A preliminary autopsy report showed that the deceased sustained 18 gunshot wounds to his body. The examiner did not rule out the possibility that all nine bullets hit the man, mainly in the abdomen, The Liberty Times reported.
The 27-year-old Vietnamese, later confirmed as a runaway migrant worker, was spotted on August 31, allegedly stealing a small truck in Zhubei City in Hsinchu County, northwestern Taiwan
An officer surnamed Chen used a baton and pepper spray after confronting the man, but he allegedly refused to surrender and fought back. Chen then fired nine shots at the suspect, allegedly in a bid to stop him from fleeing in a police car.