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Hau tells precinct chief to stay on job through investigation
Central News Agency
2014-04-12 01:07 AM
Taipei, April 12 (CNA) Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin Friday rejected the resignation of a police precinct chief pending an investigation into the dispersal of protesters under his watch. Hau said he will not give in to pressure from the hundreds of protesters gathered around the Zhongzheng First Police Precinct building, where they called for Fang Yang-ning to apologize and step down for apparently reneging on a pledge not to forcibly disperse a group of protesters around the Legislative Yuan. The mayor criticized the demands for Fang's recognition for not "meeting social expectations," saying that members of the public do not have the authority to become judges and give orders to law enforcement officers. The head of Taipei's police department also gave an interview in which he defended Fang's handling of the operation. Taipei City Police Department Commissioner Huang Sheng-yung said that although the investigation is yet to be carried out, he believes that Fang did not make any inappropriate decisions since student-led protesters occupied the Legislature March 18. Huang said Fang did not offer an explanation for his resignation. He urged the protesters still camped out in front of the police station to remain calm as the police continue an internal review of their actions. Fang offered his resignation and made a public apology face-to-face with the protesters late Friday night, but many of his remarks were drowned out by shouts from the crowd as they called for Hau to accept his resignation. The spontaneous protest was triggered after police from the precinct began picking up and removing protesters Friday morning from the square outside the Legislature complex gates despite Fang's pledge hours earlier to use "soft" means to remove protesters. The people left around the Legislature Friday had branched off from the March 18 student occupation, which officially ended Thursday evening. Fang defended the decision to clear the area Friday morning, saying it was necessary to allow the Legislature to resume normal operations. (By Huang Li-yun and Maia Huang)
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