Urban Police in China Beat Vendor, Sparking Protest
The “chengguan,” a type of municipal police, have claimed another victim in
China. A street vendor in Kunming City in Yunnan Province was severely beaten on
Sept. 3 by a group of these urban police and is listed in critical condition at
a local hospital.
According to a report in Yunnan Xinxibao (Yunnan Info
Daily), the vendor, Mr. Duan, had attempted to come to the aid of a female
vendor who was holding a baby in her arms. At about 11 p.m. the female vendor
was hit by the black-garbed police, resulting in the baby’s nose being bruised
and starting to bleed during the
As Duan came forward to stop them, he ended up being attacked
by 7 or 8 policemen with steel pipes and clubs. When he passed out and fell down
to the ground with blood all over his face, the police hurriedly left the
Chengguan is short for City Urban Administrative and Law
Enforcement Bureau. This police force is established in every city in mainland China and is said to be
responsible for non-criminal urban management, including patrolling for
unlicensed street vendors.
Though the agency is supposed to protect the
public, beatings by chengguan have become so pervasive that being called
“chengguan” implies a person is a bully. There have been a number of recent
incidents involving beatings that have sparked riots.
In this case also
the chengguan’s violence sparked a violent response. According to the video
posted on the Internet by a witness, a couple of furious residents smashed the
windows of their patrol vehicle. About one
hundred other street vendors followed the police to the Huguo Police Station and
demanded an explanation.
“The chengguan used steel pipe and clubs instead
of their hands to hit that street vendor. After he was beaten to the ground, 7
or 8 chengguan even stomped on his body,” said a furious witness.
resident told the Epoch Times: “It is common to see chengguan hit street vendors
in this area. We think it is outrageous. Those street vendors simply want to
make a living by selling some vegetables or
petty products during rush hour, but once they are noticed by these chengguan,
their articles are confiscated.
“If the vendor refuses to cooperate with
them, the chengguan beat the vendors up and then drive away. I have seen these
scenarios in person a number of times. Nowadays chengguan are nothing more than
The doctor who treated
Duan diagnosed several head injuries, two
fractured ribs, and a fractured right ring finger. As one of the fractured ribs
had perforated his lung, the hospital issued a Notice of Critical Status three
times to his family. Because he is from a low income family, they cannot afford
the expensive medical bills.
Read the original Chinese