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.