Police Apologize for Arresting Man Who Criticized Them Online

Chinese traffic police leaving a parking citation/ticket on the window of a car.

Chinese traffic police leaving a parking citation/ticket on the window of a car.

An update to yesterday’s translation about a man in Yanzhou, Shandong province, who was arrested and given 5 days of administrative detention because he called Yanzhou traffic police “cowards” in a post on the internet…

From Sina Weibo:

@兖州公安 [Yanzhou Police]: We thank the news media and the netizen masses for their attention to the 2014 May 13 “Yanzhou Police” microblog’s “case alert”. Upon re-examination, we believe punishing the person involved with administrative detention was inappropriate, and have decided to revoke the decision of administrative detention, apologize to the person involved, and hold accountable the persons involved. We welcome the news media and the netizen masses to continue their supervision and support [of our work].

Comments from Sina Weibo:


The man was fired from his company, so may I ask how you [the police] are going to compensate for that? Let’s hear it. An apology is just a few words. Anyone can do it. The key is that the man was fired. How do you plan on resolving that?


Allowing comments again? Okay then, let’s discuss. May I ask: Is it just an apology? An innocent man was arrested, so what happens to his reputation now? Being detained for nothing, how is the compensation to be calculated? Another thing, he lost his job, so how are you going to get him reinstated [made whole]? Also, who issued the order to detain him? How is the person responsible going to be dealt with? One last thing, internet police investigating someone’s background, is this considered a violation of civil rights?


Apologize your ass, can I slap you and then just apologize? Can this kind of mistake be made [without more serious consequences than an apology]? Are the police inhuman? Did they enter the police academy just to break laws and commit crimes?! You bunch of beasts, taking taxpayers’ money but vowing loyalty to black society [organized crime]! Yeah, I’m talking about you! Also! Beasts! *spit!*


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1. The victim was fired and sentenced to five days of detention with three days served, plus emotional trauma, so may I ask just how much the compensation amount will be? 2. Who was the person responsible for abusing state power and being hurt by taxpayers? How will they be held responsible? What responsibility will the person directly responsible bear? Even the Korean Prime Minister resigned! 3. Don’t just say and don’t do. Publish the entire apology. Where are the subjects? Who apologizes to who? What is the name of the person responsible? How are they going to compensate? The man was arrested and held, his job lost.


Those who demand that the Yanzhou Public Security Bureau chief step down, click upvote.


The most frightening aspect of this incident lies in a few people being able to arrest someone just with some discussion, and then being able to release that person with another discussion, able to arrest and free someone as they please. Everyone think, isn’t this business frightening?


Sigh, I was wondering why after refreshing so many times I kept seeing the same few comments. Turns out they turned off the comments. An apology with the comments turned off, can I hehe [laugh]? I’ll leave it at that, and just wait to be blocked tomorrow…


Before, it was just one person calling you cowardly, but now the entire country knows you truly are cowards…

Comments from NetEase:

网易甘肃省张掖市手机网友 ip:124.152.*.*:

The man has been fired by his company, so how is [the compensation] for the days he served [in detention] to be calculated? A single apology and that’s it?

让包子飞 [妙笔生花]:

Click upvote for conscientious media.

网易陕西省宝鸡市手机网友 ip:117.35.*.*:

I’ll fuck your wife, and then also give you an apology.

cwbhns [网易河南省郑州市手机网友]:

What about the record of the detention? It’ll be a stain on the rest of his life.

网易北京市手机网友 ip:123.119.*.*:

If this wasn’t exposed, would they still have apologize? Would they still hold someone responsible?

grandjerome [网易上海市浦东新区手机网友]:

If apologies were enough, what do we need the law for?

网易广东省广州市手机网友 ip:117.136.*.*:

They’re truly cowardly now.

网易上海市手机网友 ip:114.81.*.*:

First time getting sofa. Just fix things when you know you are wrong, compensate the man three days of wages.

网易吉林省延边州手机网友 ip:122.136.*.*:

It is only because netizens exercised supervision/oversight [found out and made a public fuss] that they apologized. If there wasn’t public opinion, would the man have simply suffered administrative detention for nothing, with nowhere to turn to for recourse?

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.

  • lonetrey / Dan

    The man was fired from work? That makes the apology seem a little hollow now….

    • UserID01

      I didn’t know he was fired, either. This is even worse. Not only does he have a mark on his record for being arrested, but he also lost his job. This is ridiculous.

      • Irvin

        That’s why most people do things differently in china, you hate something then you scheme and plot for revenge not facing the problem head on.

        A true story, there was a rich government official kid that had an automobile accident. No one was hurt but there were damages to both cars, the rich kid was in the wrong cuz he was drunk driving. Naturally the other guy was mad, had a heated argument and demand compensation.

        The rich kid stayed silent and later told his dad, they later place a gun in the guy’s car and framed him which result in 3 years of prison.

        In china you just have to do things differently and be smart and very careful about every action you take.

        • Don’t Believe the Hype

          Hence why nothing (pollution, corruption) will ever improve. You need balls for that.

        • Q Ball

          who cares. In america many people are sentenced falsely to death because they are black and the police is racist.

          also you go to jail for false confession because the police can lie to you. if you cant pay a lawyer you cant retract the confession and even if the confession is false you end up years in jail for soemthing you said under stress that was false.

          • ex-expat


          • narsfweasels

            Hello, every Chinese Wu Mao ever.

          • wildcav

            Actually it is illegal for the police to lie to you about facts that you should know or force you to confess to something. Which is why we have the 5th amendment and a right to an attorney . They can bend the truth a little, but lying is is illegal if the suspect should know the truth. Hence its legal to lie about finding prints or that another person said they didn’t because they know they didn’t do it already. It is illegal to lie and say something like “if you don’t confess you will never see your kids again.” know the law before you spout off something dumb. My assumption from what you said is A. You are not an American and go by what fake movies and shows have done. B. You are an American who thinks all the police are out to get you and no cop is a good cop(until you get robbed and then cry for help to the same people who blame).

          • Rick in China

            The 5th amendment has no implication as to whether the police can or can’t lie. You have the right to have a lawyer present before responding to questioning, and any decent lawyer will advise accordingly, but police use pressure tactics involving lies all the time.

            Police definitely lie to coerce confession or accusation between suspects. “Your friend just rolled over on you, this is your last chance, do you have something to say? Or do you want to spend your life in prison?” etc..

          • wildcav

            Actually 5th ammendment is against self incrimination. You can say that, also with a lawyer present they can ask you things and you can refuse to answer. No one forces you to answer a question. The thing is if police lie and say your friend rolled over on you….duh if you didn’t do it, why you worried your friend said you did. If it’s his word against yours, you provide your alibi and have a lawyer argue it. You don’t will dang john said I did it, I guess I have to confess.

          • Rick in China

            That’s my point. You said: “Actually it is illegal for the police to lie to you about facts that you should know or force you to confess to something. Which is why we have the 5th amendment and a right to an attorney” which implies there is some sort of relationship between the 5th amendment and whether police can lie.

            Your scenario isn’t how it works. False confession often happens in the case where people feel they’re going to get *fucked*, perhaps by someone else’s false testimony against you, and are offered a deal — take the deal and get 2 years, don’t take the deal and may get life — for example. It is also most influential when police want more information or *your* testimony against someone else, and people are pressured into being the one who rolls over before someone else beats you to it, and you’re the one left “holding the bag” instead of “getting the deal”. Make sense?

          • Q Ball

            I go by what an american told me who got screwed by the system. His free lawyer was useless, and he went in debt and went to prison for years for a confession that was obviously false and made under stress, since he did not had the money to buy a good lawyer. Also, the evidence against him was fabricated.

        • Boris

          Where’s the rest of the story?
          The guy gets out and goes on a bloody revenge spree, first taking out the kid and then dispatching each of the goons and henchmen as well as crooked cops until he got to the rich kid’s dad and whacks him.

    • lacompacida

      In the western imperialist capitalistic countries, there won’t be any discussion about compensation as everybody would know how it goes down in courts. Thank heavens China don’t have a just court system. The government won’t face any trouble at all.

      • Don’t Believe the Hype

        Thank heavens the (eastern imperialist capitalist) Chinese gov’t has not embraced the (western socialist imperialist) EU/ US concept of compensation through law. That would allow the capitalist imperialist CCP to not face any trouble at all.

    • Markus Peg

      Take any kind of victory you can get… It may be a sour victory but it is a small victory none the less. To have them Apologise is a big step… Baby steps towards a better China…
      The company that fired him should be to blame as much as the police, they fired him because he left a comment online about the police… To be fair though people do lose their jobs in the west for stupid facebook or twitter posts about things as well.

      • Taoran

        This sums my thoughts up perfectly.

      • MonkeyMouth

        i’m guessing he got fired for absence due to being in detention?

        • Markus Peg

          Yeah, that’s true, that is a possibility.

  • Guang Xiang

    what a plot twist

    • mr.wiener

      Dun Dun Dar!

    • Insomnicide

      Brought to you by M.Night Shayamalamallalandingdong.

      • MonkeyMouth

        hahahahahaah!!! great!

  • IsurvivedChina

    easy way to avoid riots I guess.

  • Surfeit

    “They’re truly cowardly now.” Nailed it.

  • mr.wiener

    The price of freedom is eternal vigilence apparently.

    • Irvin

      Or eternal silence in some case.

      • mr.wiener

        Doublethink then.

        • Irvin

          Mama always told me never to talk before I think or don’t think and talk. This dude just had to learn it the hard way.

          • fabulous

            What did she say about typing?

    • Insomnicide


  • lacompacida

    The price of telling the truth in China is 5 days in jail.

    • Mighty曹

      The price of telling lies on behalf of the gov’t is 5 maos per post.

  • Mighty曹

    Hahaha… internet police’s “damage control” just added more fuel to the fire.

    • Surfeit


  • Surfeit

    Now this has happened once, people will see it as a right. I think that’s more dangerous than being seen as subjugator, within China.

    • Mighty曹

      This will definitely embolden the netizens and the people, in general. The Commies are losing its touch.

      • whuddyasack

        It’s happening now. Sooner or later, the nation would have to be more free. The CCP is indeed losing its old touch, let’s hope they don’t resort to the violence they are so infamous for.

        • Dr Sun

          they know their corrupt system is finished, they just don’t how to fix it while at the same time keeping their kids at harvard,moving their ernai abroad and buying all those houses in the west.

          • noodles76

            A dude just got popped for having 100Million RMB…cash…in his house. The system will not fix itself if even a small fraction of that kind of loot is on the table. Or under the table as it were.

          • Surfeit

            100Million RMB… One could do so much chang with that.

          • Dr Sun

            Problem is Noodles its not a small fraction, its endemic from the top of central govt to the local village boss, the Armed Forces generals to the local police, the university academics to the kindergarten teacher.
            Once you join the party you’re part of the problem, not the solution.

          • noodles76

            Yes, I’m aware and I agree. That was not what I was saying. My point was that there is simply too much money on the line. The system has no incentive to change itself when there is such massive amounts of money to be gained. Even if the overall amount of bribes/corruption was reduced by…let’s say 75% for the sake of argument….you’d still be looking at a situation where there is no incentive to change the current status quo.

        • Mighty曹

          I hope the Tiananmen Square Massacre days are over.

          • whuddyasack

            Me too. Me too. ;-)

  • Don’t Believe the Hype

    “The most frightening aspect of this incident lies in a few people being able to arrest someone just with some discussion, and then being able to release that person with another discussion, able to arrest and free someone as they please. Everyone think, isn’t this business frightening?”

    Police- Yeah, er… that whole “according to law” thing…gets people every time. We don’t actually know how laws work really, that would be silly.

  • Dr Sun

    sums it up



  • Blue

    As usual, the big question on everyone’s lips is compensation…

  • Insomnicide

    Positive news from the government/police in a long long while. Is anyone else happy for this positive transition? Of course, we’ll still have to wait to see if this honeymoon period lasts and progresses…

    • MonkeyMouth

      yes…its encouraging. the internet is simply too powerful, and china is shit-scared about what it cannot totally control. internet is the best police force, and the People are using it! the examples are in the thousands now…and the gov’t have no choice but to do things like this apology.

  • Mighty曹

    I think you nailed it. They’re kinda torn between the ‘old’ hardliner ways and the ‘new’ modernized ways they’re trying to adapt on the world’s stage as an emerging superpower.