By Ma Huaqing
On September 3, Chengdu resident Kang Lin drove his car to pick up a friend outside Chengdu University of Technology. As parking was not allowed on the road, he made a detour. Traffic policeman Peng Yulin (Serial Number: 004803) from the Fifth Traffic Police Branch of Chengdu decided to stop him for an investigation. Even though Kang Lin was neither drunk nor hostile, Peng suddenly became furious at Kang, and kept Kang’s driving license in his pocket claiming that Kang failed to produce his driving license. Kang was then handcuffed and dragged off to the traffic police van, where he was beaten up badly with a baton.
Watch the complete footage of the video below. It was recorded by Kang himself on his mobile phone and has attracted more than 2.93 million views on Youku and Sohu:
Youtube version available here.
Peng’s apparent lack of professionalism and thuggish behaviour has attracted widespread condemnation on Chinese social networks.
In an interview with Sichuan TV Station’s Public Channel, Sichuan lawyer Ling Han pointed out that it was “totally unnecessary” for traffic police officer Peng Yulin to be angry when Kang Lin filmed him. “It is clearly stated in Article 85 of the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Road Traffic Safety, that ‘When performing their duties, the traffic control department of the public security organ and the traffic police shall consciously accept supervision by the community and citizens.’ Filming the traffic policeman, in this case, is not an unlawful act but an act of supervision which is completely legal. The traffic policeman also needs to strengthen his knowledge.”
Peng has since been suspended from duty and is currently under investigation. No official findings have been released so far. On September 6, Peng apologised to Kang, who later wrote on his Sina Weibo account:
I am only an ordinary person living in this city. Like everyone else, I graduated from university, worked, saved money, started my business, and worked hard to make a living. Regarding my case with Peng Yu Lin, I am satisfied with the current status. My personal demand has been met. Now I need silence and some rest. For Peng Yulin, I believe relevant authorities will deal with him fairly. Thank you for your attention.
While Kang may be satisfied for now, netizens are still calling for blood, waiting for the relevant authorities to announce Peng’s eventual punishment. Netizens have even managed to dig out this thread posted two years ago on People’s Daily Forum:
I am a driver in Chengdu and I have things to share about the law enforcement by Chengdu policemen. I am also a victim. Peng Yulin from the Fourth Brigade of the Fifth Traffic Police Branch of Chengdu simply abuses his power. Whenever he appears at road junctions, he has his gun and handcuffs with him. He also scolds vulgarities and beats 10 drivers occasionally, flaunting his law enforcement duty as serving Hu Jintao. Does Peng Yulin come from the CPC Central Committee? I hope all drivers in China can discipline traffic policemen in Chengdu and seek justice for the ordinary people.
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This is not the first time someone got in trouble while filming a Chinese civil servant.
On March 4, Beijing resident Lu Xiuzhen was tied up by Chengguan (城管) inspectors after attempting to take photos of them investigating unlicensed motorcycle taxis. Her hand hit inspector Guo Shuai as she resisted. Two other inspectors came, one of whom rendered Lu immobile. She could only shout for help.
As a result, she was detained in custody for 6 months, and recently faced public prosecution for intentionally hurting Guo and with interfering public duties. Lu pleaded not guilty during her hearing on September 4. Meanwhile Fengtai District’s Urban Management Supervision Team said that they were unaware of this matter and denied that Guo was one of their inspectors.