Police stopped me while walking, tried taking ARC :(

Police Brutality~!! OK, not that bad, more like just rude…

Tonight, as I was walking towards the MRT station from Taipei 101 around 9p.m. I was stopped by the police. I had just crossed an intersection which they were policing, as they are stopping cars (I am thinking that the traffic lights are malfunctioning again). The officer who stopped me while I was walking past him didn’t seem to know any english, but merely the word ID. So I gave him my ID and asked him what the problem was. He did not say, but merely told me to wait. He looked at my ID and than put it underneath his notepad he was holding and walks away.

I go to him and tell him I need my ID back, as I am to keep it with me at all times. He fails to understand that I am supposedly to keep my ARC with me at all times, no matter how many times I reiterated this to him. In his defence, I honestly don’t think he knew what I was saying, since he couldn’t actually speak any english. He than starts talking to some woman who comes by with some paper slip in her hand.

I become worried and nervous as I recall reading somewhere that not having your ARC you can be fined. I call my friend who knows english and have her talk to him, interrupting his discussion with this woman. He says a few words and I receive my cell back from him. My friend tells me he said there is no problem. I than interrupt the officer again and tell him I need my ARC back, if there is no problem I would like to get going, and I am suppose to keep my ARC. He doesn’t give it to me so I take it back from under his notepad. He tries to hold onto it and so I snatch it away. He does not seem happy. He goes back to talking to the woman and I ask my friend who is still on the phone to come to me, as she is coincidentally only a few blocks away, I also get her to talk to the officer again and she says he just wants to know who I am. Weary, I again give him my ARC and also my Canadian University student card (he apparently now wants 2 forms of ID). I than wait for my friend. He writes some stuff on his notepad and gives me some sort of ticket as well as my IDs back.

Now I am confused, as I don’t know what the paper he gave me is, its completely in Chinese, but there is a phone number written on it. He circles that and points to it. I than tell him wait, as that is the only word he seems familiar with, as my friend would be arriving soon. A few minutes later my friend arrives and talks to him. He says now he is giving me a ticket for J-walking (crossing the street when the light was red). I tell my friend that the police were policing the intersection so the lights should not matter, my friend tells him this, and than he says I was not only J-walking, but walking outside of the lines on the street so he must ticket me. And he also tells my friend that I was rude and fought with him, which was a complete lie.

I am tired now as its almost 10 p.m. so I tell her forget it, lets just go home… She tells me the ticket means I have to go to some sort of classes for pedestrians. The classes are in Chinese, but if I don’t go I will get fined and than have to still go to another class. I said the charge was bogus. She said I should have also been nicer to the officer, as in Taiwan people respect the police. I totally respect the police, I just didn’t want to get in trouble with the police by not having my ARC with me, and I did not see why he was allowed to confiscate or attempt to confiscate it in the first place.

I realize I need to know Chinese to live in Taiwan, but considering Taipei101 has so many foreigners visiting it, they really should have cops that can comprehend at least a little english and know why foreigners need to hold onto their ARCs manning their mobile civilian harrassment units.

I want to complain against the lying rude cops, I have their police license plate, and maybe the ticket I have has his name on it. What police agency can I report their behaviour to? Am I in the wrong or them? I openly admit I am somewhat ignorant on the laws here, but I am not sure what has him so upset with me, I totally would refute the J-walking charge, no pedestrian is crazy enough to walk on the roads in Taipei against the lights, that would be suicidal.

it’s called “checking your ID.” like when the policeman takes your drivers license to look at back home? it seems to me you overreacted. you want suicidal? try to forcibly take something from a police officer where i come from :slight_smile:

You keep your ARC with you at all times just for situations like this.

All you had to do was mutter the magic words…“I’m sorry” and he’d have let you go. Instead you made a scene, embarrassed the cop, and possibly broke the law while he was legally checking your ID. As for the cop saying you fought with him…Tzao Jia can mean lot’s of things from a mild disagreement to downright physical confrontation.

Sit through your pedestrian class and be done with it…You could just have easily (and justifiably) been arrested for your actions.

Agree with the last two posters for this is what you wrote and did:

You snatched your ID from a cop? Good move. Next time act like you would in your own country and things should be fine.

You gave up your ID far too easily. Tell him you haven’t got any. See if he goes to all the trouble of ringing the FAP or actually arresting you. If it looks like he’s big enough a prick to go through all that then give up your ID and be all smiles.

It’s good to see our wonderful boys in blue tackling serious crime head on. I live in hope that one day the terrifying menace of jaywalking no longer plagues this island. Well done guys, that’s a hell of a way to make yourselves popular with the public.

So the “police” were also giving tickets to cars that didn’t stop for pedestrians or ran red lights ? Didn’t think so. Where do they expect you to walk when there are cars parked on the crossing, or the pavement is filled with vehicles so you have to walk on the road ?
Would they also fine you when the lights are invisible or broken or nonexistant ?
I believe they fine more pedestrians than cars that abuse pedestrian crossings (they sent me some figures once, 44 cars fined in a month or something)

Fined for being a pedestrian.

And this is better than home because ? Please someone tell me ?

The point here was that the police officer did take his ARC by a mistake. Looking at it the police officer was not even aware of that he had failed to give it back.

When the foreigner snatched the ARc back, the guy lost face, and could have taken the you in custody and have ruined more than your day. However, instead, he sent him to a class for jaywalkers. Could have been worse, he could actually have taken you in, accused you of violence or snatching things from police officers, and have you deported.

ever have to wait for a cop back home checking id? sometimes they make you wait just to sweat you a little, to see if you will overreact. i’m not saying he did this on purpose, but you probably shoulda waited till your friend got there and you found out what was really going on b4 snatching anything back. if the cop had gotten in his car and was driving away … a different story.

citizens’ respect for cops here - haha. but not doing anything to cause them to lose face is another matter; in other words, blantant disrespect. even though i know the cops will very likely let me be here, i still tend to give them as little shyte as possible, just to make my life easier. and if you can muster up an “i’m sorry, i didn’t know” (which 90% can understand), you will have no problems, at least so far as i’ve experienced.

and never admit to having id on you until it looks like they might force you into the car for the ride “downtown”. if you pull it out later, and they confront you, tell them you thought they meant your passport blah blah blah etc. i have a few motorbike tickets circling the island looking for homer j simpson :smiley:

Sorry to say it but “Wrong move”…never feck with the police here. It’s not worth it. Be polite, relax and get someone to help with translation. Losing “Face” to them is like losing your right testicle…

Is there the slightest chance you were jaywalking? I’ve never been stopped without good reason. Both were my own fault!

Which leads me to bring this up - I never carry my original ARC, just a photocopy. But I do carry my original Taiwan driving licence and health card. When I’ve had to produce, the police have always been happy with the photocopy ARC. I think it is too valuable to carry around on a daily basis.

I wonder about the legalities of this…anyone? I once asked the FAP they said that a photocopy is ok, but if I was stopped then I might have to return to the police station with the original at a later date.

:raspberry: to traffic cops!

L :smiley:

Ok, sorry if I was not clear in my previous post about 2 things:

  1. When he initially requested my ID, I gave it to him because I was under the impression he only wanted to know who I was. I don’t mind giving my ID to cops or presenting it to anyone that asks, but I have a problem if they try keeping it.

I told him I would like my ID back but he ignored me. I asked several times and waited over 10 minutes to get my ID back, if he had it on top of his notepad as if he was reading it or checking it I would understand. Think about it, if someone takes your id, checks it over, writes some stuff down and than puts it under their notepad and walks away don’t you want it back? I told him I need it back because I would get in trouble with the law if I don’t have it on me. I than had my friend talk to him via phone to ask what the problem is, he tells her there is NO PROBLEM he just wants to know who I am, but he ignores me and continues to talk to some lady on the street. So I take back my card forcibly because I don’t see why he is keeping it, he has not indicated there is a problem.

  1. If going by the indications of the lights at the traffic interesection YES I was jaywalking and I was walking outside of the white lines on the road. But its reasonable to assume that the traffic lights are over-ruled by the police officers who are at the scene who are giving directions opposite to that of the traffic lights. Also its not possible to cross along the lines because their are cars parked on the lines that are stopped by the police, so I had to walk around the stopped cars including the police’s car.

I fail to see what a reasonable person would have done. In my own country I know the police guidance over rules the traffic lights and the police return your ID unless they impound it for a DUI, but I realize the laws are different here but I just don’t quite understand what they are. Yet, I feel if my ARC is seized, it will be a much greater hassle for me to get it back later. Right now its only a civil traffic violation (allegedly), but if I had to get another ARC and try to explain to Foreign Affairs Police why my previous one was seized I feel it would cause greater hardship.

Just like to reiterate everything I have said is my opinion, I have no idea what the actual laws here are (I realize ignorance is not an excuse, but I keep getting conflicting guidance from my friends).

i’ll ask it again more bluntly:

“would you have forcibly taken back your id from a cop who had taken it in the same circumstance in your own country?”

maybe he was finishing something b4 dealing with you, maybe he was waiting to hear some info from calling your arc in, and maybe he was a great big prick who wanted to show you how powerful he was in that he could make you wait.

imo, while i understand your worries about getting your card back, you will have an easier time of things if you give a little “i’m sorry” speech.

You met one that hates foreigners. Let it slide.

in response to xtrain_01, about what I would do in my home country, it depends on what they take from me, if they take my health card, drivers license etc. no, I would be like whatever, I’ll just get another one, but in my home country, if there was such an equivalent to an ARC, (perhaps a citizenship card, but being born in Canada I don’t think I need one as I never had one) than yes I would defenitely try getting it back because I don’t want to be in a situation where I don’t have it. I know the ARC is something I need to stay here and is a special card that shows officials here that I am a legal resident, its not something I will lightly give up. I will probably consider the suggestion of keeping photocopies on me, so if in the future they want to keep it than they can, no biggie.

If the officer spoke an ounce of english, I would definitely have tried begging or just saying I am sorry. If he told me he needs to keep my ARC for 30 minutes or an hour and he will return it so it can be verified, he wants to do an on the spot criminal check ok, but I wasn’t about to wait for them to finish their traffic patrol and drive away before realizing I wasn’t gonna get my ARC back. In Canada while driving, they have taken my drivers license and its obvious they are checking it in their computer to see if my car is stolen or I have any outstanding legal issues. I don’t mind because I have nothing to hide, but that is different because there is a mutual understanding that he will return it to me once he is finished dealing with me.

I once again admit I should’ve known some chinese, but the police should know why a foreigner would not want to relinquish their ARC as its more difficult than for a local person to just get another one as I would have to state I did not lose it but had it seized by an Officer.

Anyways, what do I do with this ticket? I called the number on the ticket, and it said for english call the Foreign Affairs Police, and I called the number they gave me, but the FAP said they don’t deal with traffic issues and I should find a police station in the area and try to find a cop who speaks english to help me talk to the traffic department about what I do next, i.e. the class I go to or the fine to pay. I checked the traffic website in english, td.tcpd.gov.tw but it does not have any info on these jaywalking violation classes, anyone have any info in english? Thanks :notworthy:

A cop is a cop is a cop

Are you crazy trying to snatch stuff from a cop. In most countries it’s a ticket to the station! Plus he was fining you for j-walking. Maybe he doesn’t like foreigners but that’s not the point.

[quote=“hexuan”]You gave up your ID far too easily. Tell him you haven’t got any. See if he goes to all the trouble of ringing the FAP or actually arresting you. If it looks like he’s big enough a prick to go through all that then give up your ID and be all smiles.

It’s good to see our wonderful boys in blue tackling serious crime head on. I live in hope that one day the terrifying menace of jaywalking no longer plagues this island. Well done guys, that’s a hell of a way to make yourselves popular with the public.[/quote]

what bullshit that is hexuan. the cop asks for your id you give it to him, you don’t pull a “but i am a foreigner” whine. gee that’s a smart way to ensure cops always give shit to foreigners. good thinking.

i have no doubt that traffic accidents are caused in taipei every day by jaywalkers.

i’m canadian as well.

i don’t see why you assume that in canada they will (eventually) return your whatever card (let’s say birth certificate), but here they won’t?? maybe just being in a new place (i’m assuming you’re fairly new here).

and how would you go about getting id back from a cop in canada? would you snatch it away? one way ticket to a night in jail, and a can of mace in the eyes, at best. otherwise, you would try to reason with them, which was difficult for you because of the language barrier. this is understandable, so wait for your friend to show up b4 resorting to radical action. did the cop make any move that suggested he was going to leave the scene with your card? from what you posted, he remained on the street.

i’m not saying you don’t have a right to feel hard-done by, but i do think that your reaction was not the best one. however, hind-sight is 20-20 they say.

nothing to do with you personally, but more of a general query: back in canada i often heard from english NS that foreigners should know the language of the land, even to the extent that if they didn’t, they should return “home” (wherever that was). yet here, many people desire (maybe expect is too much) to converse in english when dealing with official situations, because of a lack of ability in mandarin, or to a lesser extent taiwanese (southern min). i also prefer to do this in a language that i am proficient in, such as english. why is this?
canada has slowly changed, from what i’ve read, in that many types of official government doc’s are now available in many of the commonly spoken languages. have the people changed too?

How much was the fine?

I know it smarts, but just pay it and move on.

Give the guy a break, folks. The cop walked away with his ID; would the police have mailed it back, or would the guy end up having to go through getting a new copy?

I’m still not clear about this–had the cop indicated you were free to leave, or were to wait, or neither?

Walking away is relative. From what I understand he walked a few meters and talked to that lady, so it’s not like he had run off with the ID for good.
In any case I would agree that the cop was not acting correctly but neither was webdoctors, snatching something from a cop (or even getting physical) is a big no-no.

Just wondering, isn’t there a tourist police (who speak English) or similar that you could call? Maybe worth to keep that number handy for situations like these.

But that ‘pedestrian class’ - is that for real? Do they have any for bikers and car drivers, too?
Doesn’t seem to work though …