Caught on dashcam: Chinese police probe claims officer faked traffic accident

Footage posted online raises doubts about injury to uniformed policeman

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 14 June, 2018, 3:15pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 14 June, 2018, 3:15pm

Police in southern China are investigating whether one of its traffic officers faked an accident after video of the man’s “puzzling behaviour” surfaced online.

Footage posted on major Chinese internet portals on Thursday showed the uniformed officer ordering a white sedan to pull over in downtown Hengyang in Hunan province.

As the car stops, the officer suddenly staggers and falls on his back as if hit.

Another officer rushes over to check the “wounded” colleague and the driver gets out of the car to help him up, but the first officer refuses to stand.

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The incident was filmed by a camera in another vehicle but there is no indication in the footage that the car made contact with the officer.

Online commenters said the officer may have been trying to extort money from the driver by staging an accident. The practice, called pengci, is common in China but it is rare for a police officer to be accused of it.

A Hengyang police department spokesman told the South China Morning Post that the department was aware of the video, and an investigation was under way to find the reason for the officer’s “puzzling behaviour”.

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“The truth can be more sophisticated than what is seen by the eyes. It may be too early to make a judgment,” the spokesman said.

“We will make an announcement on our website as soon as the investigation reaches a conclusion.”

The department’s website was offline on Thursday.

According to the Legal Evening News, local authorities suspected the officer was “sick” but did not rule out the possibility that he could have faked the injury.

“Without the video the driver has no hope,” one commenter wrote on Sina Weibo, China’s equivalent to Twitter.

Another wrote: “The action looks smooth and professional, almost as good as soccer players faking injury. Is it a warm-up for the World Cup?”