Cop Killer Yang Jia Lives On In Beijing Graffiti

Beijing graffiti of cop killer Yang Jia.

Yang Jia was from Beijing. He became famous after he attacked a Shanghai police station and killed many police officers. There were many rumors why he did this and many Chinese people felt sympathetic to his crime. His trial was very controversial and many people think it was unfair.

He was executed on 2008 November 26.

From KDS:

Under a certain bridge in Beijing, a graffiti portrait suddenly appears that looks a little familiar…it looks like the the recent “Big Knight Yang”…
Yes, it is the “Big Knight.”

Another picture of Yang Jia's face found as graffiti on Beijing's streets.

A third example of Yang Jia's face being as graffiti in Beijing. Yang Jia murdered several Shanghai police officers in 2008.

Comments from KDS:

It appears to be everywhere in Beijing.

What is that on the wall in the back?

The thing on that wall in the back looks like “UU” [condom]…


I am reminded of Che Guevara. Is this going to be printed on t-shirts in the future and sold around the world?

Already a part of history….

Yet another business opportunity. Once the weather gets hot, it can be made into a t-shirt…

Beijingers are really bored.

I think the original NetEase topic was deleted/censored or “harmonized.” Most people who know about the Yang Jia incident probably can guess why graffiti and comments about Yang Jia throughout Beijing, China’s capital, may not be good for the government or police.

I think maybe the KDS topic is still available only because there were not many comments so maybe the moderators did not do anything because it was buried by new post topics quickly. Websites will usually only worry if a lot of people pay attention to something.

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Let all Chinese who have suffered unjust treatment put on clothing printed with Yang Jia’s portrait and the words: “If you do not give me a statement, then I will give you a statement.”

Chinese citizens wearing Yang Jia t-shirts to protest unjust treatment by police and government authorities.

Yang Jia t-shirts worn by Chinese people protesting unjust police and government behavior.

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Written by Fauna

Fauna is a mysterious young Shanghainese girl who lives in the only place a Shanghainese person would ever want to live: Shanghai. In mid-2008, she started chinaSMACK to combine her hobby of browsing Chinese internet forums with her goal of improving her English. Through her tireless translation of popular Chinese internet news and phenomenon, her English has apparently gotten dramatically better. At least, reading and writing-wise. Unfortunately, she's still not confident enough to have written this bio, about herself, by herself.

  • idolman

    who can tell what is behind the story?

  • Peteryang

    his trial was very controversial
    there was no trial.

    who can tell what is behind the story?
    I had been tracking the whole thing. When medias were instructed to break the incident on 1st july, the government hoped it could gain sympathy to override discontent from the Weng’an riot and trigger public condamnation to anti-government efforts, but it resulted in a butthurtz of epic proportion to itself and, to oberservers’ surprise, this event set of an array of critics to the judicial system.

    then opinions defending yang’s action exploded on the web, major questions include why six armed officers were unable to handle a knife-wielding peasant, how yang could kill six men in less than 10 seconds, and most importantly—what on earth motivated him. rumor quickly emerged that he and his mother have been struggling with police abuse during their lives and his repeated attempt to petition authorities had all failed. It turned out that this logic alone was enough to win him support all over the place.

    but of course the government wasn’t doing nothing, censors moved into popular forums and comment section of news sites, blocking mainstream opinions, however since there was absolutely no one defending the government, all stories regarding yang’s case were left with blank response. under the spotlight, a group of lawyers requested judicial review and due procedures to high court, and as far as I know, they could not make any change. so the dilemma persisted, people fought, and government continued to display apathy. also it has to be noted that his mother was under detention in a mental correction facility for quite some time and finally released just before yang’s death.

    everyone held hope until yang was suddenly executed weeks ago, with an outrageous verdict. he died, but his spirit lived on. he is now called a hero, real man, fighter, and etc..

    now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying he shouldn’t die, he destroyed six families, kids are now orphans, these people have to go through unimaginable pain, no society on this planet would forgive crime of this magnitude, all people are asking is a fair and just trial, and what the hell the police did to him that made him the way he was. It is beyond many folks’ ability to comprehend the force that drove him to a stabbing spree.

    this case has marked a major milestone, I suppose if someone wrote a book in as near as 10 years time chronicling china’s road to rule of law it would be blasphemy to not mention yang.

  • Peteryang

    and thank you chinasmack for this superb piece.

  • Paul

    And I can well imagine how, someone that has been pushed, bullied or assaulted by the government may think “What happened to me happened to him, only he snapped and I didn’t.” I can see where the sympathy towards him, though not necessarily his actions, comes from.

  • Samael

    peteryang u did it wrong :(

    he should be called AN HERO

  • Peteryang

    either way, yang is going to sit in everyone’s memory for years to come, if not forever, and his legend will be passed on to future generations, there is no barrier to that.

    I studied law in uni, have read alot of cases both interesting and morally-incomprehensible, so I know that legal cases like this could bring real change to a nation. besides, I wholeheartedly support due process and rule of law, they are the foundation of sustainable society, in the sense that each man has innate requirement for pursuit of justice, that they are the smallest component of society, thus a fair and just judicial system can satisfy this very nature of human being.

    I was kind of relieved to see these concepts in central government’s report.

  • FangYao

    it is very sad story…
    economy developing is not everything, chinese government really needs to improve the human rights. otherwise this kind tragedy will be never stopped.
    death penalty, it is very inhuman rule.

  • fireworks

    People need to feel they are not neglected or ignored. Too often the small time officials look after themselves rather than for the public interest.
    This particular case highlights the fact that he wasn’t born to be a murderer but he was driven down this path because he was frustrated, victimized and no sign of hope. He should not have taken the law into his own hands but he did and he has suffered the consequences.

  • Evelin

    People get pardons for some of the most outrageous crimes ever committed. Usually biowarfare or a security crisis is on.

    Bush pardoned a turkey named pumpkin, for crying out loud.

    It all depends on who you know.
    And how much they like you.
    I.E. How useful are you?

  • krdr

    China have strong hip-hop scene. USA and French hip-hop scene shows strong animosity to the police. Hip hop culture looks for “alternative” heroes often. Yang graffiti is made in hip hop style. Maybe Chinese hip-hoppers took Yang as their version of Tu Pack, their symbol against police oppression.

    When came to sickness, cause should be treated, not effect. Government should investigate chain of events and sentence all of responsible cops and their superior.

  • Ronnie

    I don’t know what motivated him to this killing spree. Stripped of all social/political issues, the controversy boils down to the observation of due process in the Chinese judicial system. Killing 6 cops is sufficient aggravating circumstances that warrant the severest punishment in this judicial system, regardless of motivation. But, I’m not saying that the end should justify the means. He certainly deserved a fair trial.

    Personally, I would not call a mass killer a HERO under any circumstance.

  • Jay

    Will the police get the message? Will they care? Will the government care?

  • kILL

    fuck the police! corrupt cops get theirs in the end!

  • Joe 2


    I don’t know anyone who pronounces hero with a vowel sound at the start. That would only happen in heavily accented English. “A hero” is correct.

  • miele


    It is an internet phrase you might not be familiar with. Popular on 4chan, etc. (website is humorous, please note!)

    but also using “an” before words that start with H is not unheard of — “an historical”, etc.

  • Ronnie

    So we are talking about grammar now.

    Hmm, well, in some European languages H is usually silent. So it’s not an inexcusable mistake to write an hero if your mother tongue is French or Spanish. But, in French, h is de facto treated as “not silent” in the sense that it’s “le hero”, not “l’hero”. I’m not terribly good at French though.

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  • Dominique

    If he were idolman I would say they probably change the rule just for him! HA!

  • Jesse


    for my different moods

  • Nancy

    He killed 6 people. I don’t know why people have so much sympathy for someone who killed 6 people?!?!

  • Samael

    @Joe 2

    yang jia killed over 9000 cops last thursday and then got pwned. granted it wasn’t self pwn, but i bet you still u wish u could be an hero like him. too bad you are not, but u dont have to be all butthurt about it u know : /

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  • Kai

    I’m pretty certain the government knew they were stubbornly handling this case in the worst possible way, hoping it’ll all blow over with time. The sad thing is that it probably will. Yang Jia has definitely become a symbol of “sticking it to The Man.” Hard to say, however, how powerful this symbol will be in progressing to honest change.

  • tupac shakur

    Tu Pack?
    Are you retarded?
    tupac or 2pac. Take your pick…. but Tu Pack? comon borther.

  • krdr

    bother or brother? Take your pick.

  • Kristen

    This is terrible. the man killed 6 police officers because they thought, but could not prove, he stole a bicycle. THAT IS A FACT. what is not is that he “was struggling with police abuse all his life”. their will more than likely always be a rebellious part of teenage culture that looks up to fucking with the powers that be-thus the grafitti. But this man killed 6 officers. He should never be regarded as any sort of person to look up to, any anyone thinking he will be remembered as anything but an insane killer should be ashamed.

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  • D3

    where can i buy the supporter t-shirt in the pictures?

  • mobster

    I don’t know about the truth of this story.
    if someone kills someone else. that is just wrong. I will have to read more about what really happened.
    for sure, I don’t support the death penalty.

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  • Not Found

    I need a support t shirt like that too, those policemen aren’t getting any pity from me, they don’t even deserve you to show who they really are by risking your life, Bless you!

  • Joe Banks

    I like the Chinese police. They don’t mess with me and are easy going. I can drink or do as I like, as long as I am not breaking the laws (severely).

    Of course, I am a foreigner, so we get more slack supposedly. But I am on the streets alot and don’t see that many cops out, and they basically do all the similar things that cops to in “free countries”.

    I am an American, and I have issues with laws, but cops by and large do a dangerous and thankless duty everyday. This includes Chinese cops. Most Chinese cops are doing their eight hours and doing whatever needs to get done and go home. They do what they are told. Unlike American cops, they really don’t go looking for people to bust.

    We had a guy in the USA who went into a coffee shop and killed four cops sitting having coffee and doing reports. The dude got away but was later killed by other cops (officially for resisting arrest). Should that guy be a hero? No

    For someone to elevate this guy for killing innocent government workers is sick. Good for China for sticking a needle or better yet a 45 caliber hole in that dog’s back.

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