Chinese police accused of brutality by kneeling on woman’s neck – next day she thanks their ‘sincere assistance’
- Furious reaction online to footage and woman’s claim of ‘near-death experience’ after calling police saying she had been ogled at hotel
- Police statement a day later says woman has been ‘educated on common law’, then she posts second statement praising officers
A video of a Chinese policeman pinning down a woman by the neck with his knee while she cries out in pain has caused a furious reaction online, with the police accused of being “shameless, hypocritical and evasive” and of trying to control public opinion.
The woman posted the video on social media on Saturday and accused the police of brutality, but it was swiftly deleted and on Sunday she posted another statement thanking the police for “their sincere communication and assistance”, claiming the issue had been resolved and asking people to stop commenting.
Identified by her surname Cheng, she had called the police after claiming a security guard at her hotel in the southern city of Shenzhen had been taking photographs of her, she wrote on Weibo, China’s Twitter-like platform.
However, the police then refused to allow Cheng to review security camera footage with them and threatened her with a stun gun when she refused to leave the room, she wrote.
Cheng posted a video showing a policeman pinning her down by the neck with his knee while she cried out in pain and tried to push him off. He was shown eventually letting her go after another woman tried to pull her out from under him, before grabbing Cheng by the hair as he pushed her out of the room. The video has since been removed from Weibo.
“I will never forget the fear I felt, and I never thought this kind of near-death experience would be caused by the people who have sworn to protect the public,” Cheng wrote in her Weibo post, also now deleted.
The Luohu district police’s statement, on Weibo on Sunday, claimed they had been called to the hotel for a second time after settling a dispute between the two parties when Cheng asked to see the security footage on her own.
It said Cheng had pushed a policeman, who then “subdued her with his bare hands”. Cheng had “violently resisted” and kicked the policeman, the statement said.
Cheng was later “educated on common law” and has since “expressed understanding”, according to the police statement. It did not confirm the identity of the policeman in the video, nor did it address his actions.
The police statement had accumulated 18,000 comments and 17,600 shares by Monday afternoon.
“This is the most shameless, hypocritical and evasive police statement I’ve ever seen,” wrote one Weibo user, while others said they would be afraid to call the police in future.
“So why was the video removed? Why are they trying to control public opinion?” wrote another.
On Sunday, Cheng wrote on Weibo: “Thank you to everyone who read my Weibo post. I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the Luohu police for their sincere communication and assistance, the issue has since been resolved, I hope everyone can stop sharing and commenting about it. Thank you again everyone.”
Luohu police have been accused of brutality before. In June 2016, a Shenzhen woman accused an officer of beating her up when she went to report her missing bag, and posted photos of her injuries to Weibo, news portal Thepaper.cn reported. The police said the woman was drunk and had insulted the officer.
In September this year, the Ministry of Public Security released a draft regulation to “protect the authority of the police”, following earlier reports of an increase in clashes between officers and civilians.
The draft law states that the ministry should actively protect the authority of police. It also lists nine situations in which the ministry should step in, including when police are violently attacked or face detention, biting, pulling or pushing. In addition, it includes a provision for “any other situation where the authority of the police is violated”.