While many of us come from cultures in which police are referred to as “pigs” or worse, there are plenty of people in this “harmonious society” who don’t love the cops either. Physical and verbal attacks on law enforcement people are quite common in China. Earlier this year, one policeman was killed and 15 were injured in a riot in Yunnan Province when villagers were protesting the environmental damage caused by a nearby coal mine. In 2009, female Chengguan Liu Ping had a bucket of manure poured over her by a woman who was resisting arrest. Netizens overwhelmingly supported the criminal, with one saying “what she poured was not manure, but justice.”
Now, Shenzhen’s traffic police department is facing a major controversy, after responding disproportionately to an attack. A man is recovering in Longhua People’s Hospital, Shenzhen, after being held down and beaten by traffic police, according to local television. The man, Wang Hongguang, was held down and kicked in the chest and head after making a drunken, foul-mouthed rant at traffic policemen. The policeman who allegedly beat Wang has been identified as Zhang Wenbin. The Longhua branch of the city’s Public Security Bureau has already released footage, that clearly shows Wang being beaten by the traffic policeman.
Wang was visited by journalists at Longhua People’s Hospital where he is in the third ward on bed 30. He was attached to breathing apparatus, and his face was covered in scars from the beating. A witnessed surnamed Xu told reporters that at 2 a.m. June 20, a Longhua resident named Mr Yang was stopped by traffic police on Renmin Road while driving under the influence. Fearing arrest, Yang called his wife, urging her to get someone to visit him at the police station. Wang was drinking at home when he heard that Yang was in trouble.
When the drunken Wang arrived at the Traffic Police Station, he began a foul-mouthed rant at traffic policeman Zhang. Zhang proceeded to cuff him, then held him to the ground before kicking and beating him, aided by several colleagues. One policeman even sat on Wang while three or four others kicked him. Around 8 a.m., Wang’s family heard he was in danger, so his brother-in-law Zou went down to the station. After much squabbling, Wang was finally taken to Longhua People’s Hospital around 12 p.m., ten hours after the initial beating. The following morning at 8 a.m., Wang was declared to be in a critical condition.
The suspect Zhang and an assistant traffic policeman brought flowers to visit Wang, but the family refused to allow them to see him. The head of the hospital ward in which Wang is recovering, Guo Donghui, said despite injuries to his head, brain, neck, chest and stomach, Wang’s condition is now stable.
Traffic police have claimed that Yang resisted arrest, and invited four friends to come to the station to defend him, thus police were primarily acting out of self defense. Wang was the most aggressive and was accused of headbutting a policeman.
The Public Security Bureau is conducting an investigation.