Investigation of Shanxi Police “Standing On Hair” Incident of Police Brutality
Xinhuanet Taiyuan December 28 report — With the end of the year arriving, a “police beat to death a female migrant worker who was seeking to be paid her wages and then even stands on her hair” story began spreading widely on the internet on the 26th. The story claims the migrant workers involved had an argument with the construction site’s security guards over unpaid wages and were beaten after they were taken to the local police station, with one among them dying and one suffering four broken ribs. This China Online News reporter conducted an investigation into this matter.
Not only failed to get unpaid wages but suffered beating
One of the photos posted on the internet was disturbingly described as: “Facing a female migrant worker who had collapsed unconscious on the ground, police not only didn’t provide emergency assistance, a fat police officer firmly planted his foot on her hair, for as long as an hour”. Family for the deceased accused police of police brutality and called on the relevant [government] departments to “not shield or protect”, to lawfully investigate and handle the matter, and to return justice to the deceased.
The female migrant worker whose hair was stood on in the photo is named Zhou Xiuyun, from Henan province Zhoukou city Dancheng county, and 47 years old this year. Her 21-year-old son Wang Kuilin told this reporter that starting from mid-October this year, a total of 13 people from their hometown have been working at the “Shanxi Four Construction Group Jinmao Longruiyuan Project” located on Longcheng Street of Taiyuan, primarily engaged in carpentry. Carpentry work had already ended on December 5th, but the chief labor contractor and Sichuanese Zhou Lipin still owd them 29,000 yuan in pay, which they had demanded multiple times without success.
Seeing Spring Festival [Chinese New Year] approaching, these migrant workers decided to demand their wages directly from the project’s management. At around 4pm on December 13th, Wang Kuilin and three coworkers arrived at the construction site’s north entrance hoping to find the person in charge of project management to demand their pay. However, they were stopped at the gate by security whereupon they had a verbal argument involving pushing. During the altercation, the security guards called the police.
Wang Kuilin recalls the local police were foul-mouthed from the moment they arrived and all throughout. When his father Wang Youzhi rushed over after hearing what happened, he was pressed to the ground by the police and forcibly handcuffed. It was when his mother Zhou Xiuyun grabbed the police officer’s leg beseeching them to release her husband that she suffered her hair being pulled, her neck choked, and other violations. “That police officer viciously pulled my mother’s hair downward, so that her face was practically on his belly,” with his mother then lying face-up on the ground for as long as an hour. A police officer with a relatively portly body used his foot to stand on his mother’s hair, and accused her of “playing dead”.
“No more than just a few meters away, I didn’t know if my wife was dead or alive, much less go forward to help her,” Wang Youzhi said, with police guarding the scene, and his wife’s hair firmly stepped on by a police officer. Later, police squeezed both of them husband and wife into the same police vehicle but because he was handcuffed behind his back, he could only use his legs to support her head and shout her name. However, by then, her wife was no longer response. Whether she was unconscious or already dead at the time, Wang Zhiyou could not say.
Wang Kuilin confirms that his mother’s health has always been good and did not have any life-threatening diseases. He says the lowest temperature of the day on the 13th was -13 degrees Celsius, and his mother had lied on the ground for an hour. “Was my mother was beaten to death at the scene, or did she die from further beatings after being taken to the police station?” Wang Kuilin angrily questioned. He believes there is dubious circumstances surrounding his mother’s death.
Police brutality leads to tragedy
Wang Youzhi’s family of three along with two others from their hometown were brought into Taiyuan’s Longcheng police station around 5pm that day. Wang Youzhi says was beaten in the police station’s restroom. “They grabbed my hair and viciously kicked me”. Afterward, police again smacked him around the head with a shoe while in the office, beating him until he was dazed and dizzy, his face covered with blood. Every time this is brought up, he loses his voice and cries bitterly.
According to Wang Kuilin, he and the other two people from his hometown were also taught a lesson by the police station’s officers, with the bruises on his waist and back only fading away six to seven days later.
Wang Youzhi is currently in the General Surgery department at the Armed Police Shanxi Provincial Hospital. The examination results issued by the hospital on the 22nd show “fractures from ribs 6 to 9 on the left side”.
Most shocking to the public is that 47-year-old Zhou Xiuyun died in this incident. “My wife was slumped motionless against the wall with he head hanging. I asked the police to take care of her, but no one paid me any attention.” Wang Youzhi was locked in the police station’s detention room, while his wife sat no more than two meters away outside the door. He could only helplessly look upon his unconscious wife, powerless to do anything. Around 3am in the early morning, in the police station, he received the notice that his wife had died and her body had already been sent to the morgue.
A photo allegedly of “police standing on female migrant worker’s hair” incited extreme anger among netizens, but because the clarity from the photo taken by a mobile phone is not high, whether or not the hair is being stepped on is unable to be discerned.
“Police absolutely could not engage in the aforementioned behavior,” said Liu Jinrun, the officer on duty at the Taiyuan city Public Security Bureau Xiaodian Sub-Bureau Longcheng Police Station, with certainty. He says the angle of the photo on the internet was taken from the police officer’s side and back, and thus creates the false impression that his foot is on the woman’s hair, and what more, the uploaded presents it out of context intentionally misleading the netizen masses.
Deputy Chief Xu Longze acknowledged that the incident occurred in their jurisdiction, and that the police officer involved Wang Wenjun also belongs to their police station. However, because disciplinary inspection organs have already gotten involved in the case, he cannot provide any specific details about the situation at the moment.
Wang Xingxing, the wife of the deceased’s sister’s son, provided China Online News a video lasting 3 minutes and 44 seconds. In the video, a police officer stands close to Zhou Xiuyun’s head, and it can be clearly seen that her hair is being stood upon. What more, also recorded is the police officer first using his left foot and then changing to his right foot to stand on her [hair].
The Taiyuan Municipal People’s Prosecutor’s Office released information on the 26th stating that the city’s Xiaodian district People’s Prosecutor’s Office had received a report around 7pm on the day of the incident that “an abnormal death” occurred during the Longcheng police station’s police officers’ handling of a police matter. Just three hours passed between the state of the incident until confirmation of death.
Police officer involved already suspended, disciplinary inspection organ [department] has already opened an investigation
“The relevant department wouldn’t open an investigation for over a dozen days, yet kept requesting an autopsy. This kind of handling we cannot accept,” the deceased Zhou Xiuyun’s sister’s son’s wife Wang Xingxing told this reporter. Family members are having a hard time accepting the fact that Zhou Xiuyun died after being beaten by the police, and if there is to be an autopsy, they want a third-party to carry it out. That photo of of her hair being stood on by a police officer is the last image left by Zhou Xiuyun, her passing leaving behind boundless grief for her family.
On the night of the 26th, the Taiyuan Municipal Public Security Bureau issued a bulletin that the public security organs will fully cooperate with the disciplinary inspection organ’s work and will earnestly deal with any issue of police misconduct in accordance with the law and regulations and without tolerance. The entire city’s public security organs shall take this as a lesson, solemnly clean its ranks, strengthen its consciousness of the rule of law, comprehensively rectify and standardize its law enforcement conduct, be strict and impartial in work discipline, and firmly put an end to such problems occurring again.
The bulletin by the police on the night of the 26th says that on December 13th, when Taiyuan Municipal Public Security Bureau Xiaodian Sub-Bureau Longcheng Police Station officers were handling the “Longruiyuan” construction site dispute, an abnormal death occurred (the “12.13” incident). Afterward, the Taiyuan Public Security Bureau immediately proposed in accordance with the law that the disciplinary inspection organ enter the investigation; at the same time, it immediately had the bureau’s leadership lead the supervisory department in launching an investigation, and make the decision to suspend the police officer involved from his duties in accordance with regulations.
With regards to what had happened, the bulletin had the following explanation: That day, Zhou X and approximately 10 migrant workers from Henan were planning on returning to their hometown the next day, and needed to return to their residences to pack their luggage. Because they had entered the construction site without wearing safety helmets, they had a dispute with the security guards. During the police’s handling of the matter, they had a physical altercation with an obstructing Zhou X (namely Zhou Xiuyun). It is suspected that they violated regulations, had handled the situation inappropriate, and Zhou X’s abnormal death occurred.
It is reported that the Taiyuan city Xiaodian district People’s Prosecutor’s Office has already filed criminal charges on the 26th against the police officer involved, Wang Wenjun, for abuse of power, and has taken compulsory measures.
Netizen “思诚小情绪” says lawful law enforcement is the minimum requirement, and treating disadvantaged members of society with some more respect, tolerance, protection, and consideration is the meaning of today’s rule of law. Netizen “dlw123love” from a certain discussion forum says sadly the price for demanding your own blood and sweat money is your own life, but fortunately the country’s larger environment of rule of law does not tolerate bad cops misbehaving. Netizen “李海峰” questioned the police brutality, that in the face of migrant workers seeking their pay, the police not only did not solve the problem but instead were so violent really hurts the people’s feelings [is really disappointing/damaging of their relationship with the public].
(Original title: Migrant Worker Loses Life in Pursuit of of Unpaid Wages, Investigation of the Shanxi Police “Stand on Hair” Incident of Police Brutality)
Comments from NetEase:
This bastard cop should be executed by firing squad, to be carried out immediately.
Police… is it still a synonym for justice! Sigh, those who support severely punishing the people involved please conscientiously [upvote].
Are police this niubi these days?
Why does a person have to die before someone will do something about it?
Fuck, a life for a life, [that officer] must be killed.
Beating someone is called a physical altercation, beating someone to death is called an abnormal death, gang rape is called having sexual relations in turns… The Chinese characters/words our ancestors invented sure is broad and flexible!
Truly fucking disappointing for Shanxi people. I don’t know whether or not that pig-headed cop is a Shanxi person but I hope not.
When the video so clearly shows him standing on her hair, for his work unit to distort the truth is a crime that cannot be pardoned.
Execute them all!