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Netizens outraged as chengguan beat mother in front of 2-year old child in Guangzhou

Posted: 03/7/2013 3:43 pm

China’s outspoken netizens have reacted in horror to the heavy-handed nature of Guangzhou’s chengguan, who were caught on tape punishing a street vendor in front of the woman’s 2-year old child.

Photos of the incident have appeared online, showing the woman being assaulted by the officers. The whole incident leaves the two-year-old in some distress on the side of the road.

The chengguan are notorious for their brute force. Their role is quite vast, and includes tackling low-level crime and enforcing city edicts. As this incident demonstrates, they – in their eyes – are just tidying up the streets.

The picture timeline shows the woman wrestling with officials, and subsequently leaving her to console her daughter after the traumatic episode for the child, leading to a picture caption of: “Sorry, mom cannot hold you in arms.” Then the mother is taken away.

At the outset, the handling looks over-the-top, but it only tells part of the story, as South China Morning Post’s Ernest Kao writes:

According to an article in the Daily, the vendor’s husband rushed to the scene and demanded an explanation. His request was ignored by Guangzhou’s urban management authorities.

They denied “grabbing” the woman’s neck and said they were only following proper procedures for hawker-control. They said that after the woman refused to leave, she started yelling and even hit them. The officials called the police, according to the article.

Here’s a round up of reaction gathered by Offbeat China:

于建嵘, famous sociologist, commented: “She is a street vendor who tries to make a living with her kid. She may have violated certain regulations in this big city. She may have pissed these God-like Chengguan officers. But may I ask you [Chengguan] to not to bully her in front of her kid? I ask you to loosen her up. The frightened kid needs her comforting.”

郑渊洁, popular kid story writer, asked: “Since when did we become a country that ignores the existence of kids? Shouldn’t we pay attention to the psychological impact on minors during law enforcement efforts?”

郑渊洁 isn’t the only one who questions the environment that this fast growing country has created for its children. Netizen 老衲不老518 asked: “My only thought is that whether this kid, when grow up, will think about killing a few Chengguan.”

Even the mainstream media have attacked the behaviour of the chengguan:

The Beijing News commented: “Please remember this frightened kid on Guangzhou street. The kid doesn’t know what law is, but she knows that her mom has been bullied. Law enforcement shouldn’t cross the bottom line of humanity, shouldn’t crush the dignity of a mom. A country that fails to mange its Chengguan team owes a lot to this kid.”


H/T: Offbeat China

Image: Nanfang Daily

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